But there is one big obstacle. Ariella is Italian and contact between Romanians and Westerners is not allowed by the laws of the tyrannical regime. Despite this, once Ariella returns to Italy, their relationship develops through correspondence, unknowingly, under the scrutinising eyes of the infamous Securitate. It is through Ariella's vivid and hopeful letters that their love flowers. Attempts by Teodor to get a passport to the West to be with Ariella are thwarted by his family's dissident past, as in the fifties his father had been labelled an enemy of the people. Ariella returns to Bucharest to visit Teodor and they decide that they were made for each other, and vow to get married.
However, as a result of their decision, the whole world seems to turn against them. Priests decree that, as a foreigner, Ariella can't marry him in church, without their first producing a civil marriage certificate. The civil marriage celebrants tell them that Romanian citizens cannot marry foreigners without a special authorisation from the State Council, headed by Ceausescu himself. They learn that it takes many months, or even years, to get the authorisation; and even then it is often refused. When Teodor applies for the authorisation the Securitate does what they do best: attempt to blackmail him into becoming a spy.
Teodor faces a difficult choice: agree to spy on the West and get the authorisation he and Ariella so desperately want, or stand firm against the government that has betrayed his family.
|Product dimensions:||5.24(w) x 7.99(h) x 0.64(d)|
About the Author
Although he has lived for over 44 years in a better world than the one his parents experienced, the shocking events that have haunted his family, his village and country after the instalment of the communist regime followed Teodor wherever he went. After his retirement from the University of Tasmania, he described the drama of those tumultuous times in the novel A Luminous Future.
Paper Rings describes the condition of being a prisoner in one's own country, when Romanians were denied the right to have contact with foreigners. In 1968, when he was a student in Bucharest, Teodor met a young Italian, Ariella, at an international congress of linguistics. After a series of dramatic events, her love rescued him.