Anna Koczak was born in Hungary in 1928 and escaped in 1949. She presents an image of her communist-controlled homeland in her memoir, A Single Yellow Rose.
This book has it all: intrigue, action and romance. Best of all, it actually happened.
Anna Toth is a plucky young woman living in post-war Hungary. After refusing to sign an incriminating letter, she is denied the opportunity to graduate just two weeks shy of high school and, in spite of excellent grades, can’t continue on to university. Lacking the necessary Communist documents, her job prospects are slim and she is forced to take a position as a maid.
You can’t help but be inspired by her resolute adherence to principles and resilience: “Despite the turbulent political events swirling around me, I felt that life could be beautiful after all.”
The drama grows when her newest client is an attractive American diplomat. Shortly thereafter, a handsome secret police agent also begins to court her. She keeps up the appearance of dating the secret police agent while she pines for a more substantive relationship with the American diplomat. All the while, the Soviet Union continues to tighten its control over Hungary.
In spite of the ensuing decades, Anna is someone that young women even today can relate to: “I don’t want to just study. I want to wear fashionable French dresses, elegant Milanese shoes, silk stockings, flowing scarves, and a dab of Shalimar.” You will be swept away by this suspenseful story.
You can purchase the book through Tate Publishing.