Cum mi-am petrecut vacanta de vara de T.O. Bobe
This book was a gift from Oana. Our friendship ties us since the same time as the topic of the book, childhood. From what I remember she sent me this book at a time when I needed to cheer up, about 5 years ago. She is always good at surprising me with gifts. I didn’t read it then and I brought it to Manchester as part of my now failed “I will not buy more books until I finish the ones I have” programme.
The setup is deceivingly plain, a 10-year-old boy, a busy mom and dad, a caring grandmother and a summer vacation. It seems like an uneventful place to start a novel. Luca is writing the story of how he spent his summer holiday. I remember the chore of doing some sort of summer homework, but Luca seems a lot more diligent than I ever was.
My experience with the lecture was divided in three parts. The first one made me laugh and miss Romania. There were a few mornings when I laughed out loud on the bus by myself reading it. I found it brilliant how Luca, filtered grown up banter and expressions. I could picture him absorbing all these conversations happening around him. If adults would realize how ridiculous are some of the things they keep saying then maybe they (we) would find more creative ways of expressing ourselves in front of children. It still made me miss some of them and that style of being continuous critical and loving at the same time, that confusing back and forth which goes from “you look fat” to “ you are the best” in a matter of a 2-minute dialogue.
The second part of the book went into an area that was a bit flat for me. I was so happy to have my laughing outbursts on the bus that when they stopped I was disappointed. Luca’s vacation takes a fantastic turn and various extraordinary events and characters populate the pages. Initially he commits himself to a realist narration but his competition with fellow student Miruna, seems to motivate his use of extraordinary events and characters. For a while, this is was my interpretation of the events.
The third part is where I started doubting that version. A woman asking Luca to interpret various drawings was enough for me to feel sad and disappointed that the fun time was over. It brings you into a rude awakening.
I loved that it made me laugh and miss my childhood. It was similar to a laughing fit that ends up in a crying fit. You laugh out loud, your body shakes and you feel your tummy hurting… you stop for a bit, a little confused as to what’s happening and then end up crying.