Life Begins on Friday

“Life Begins on Friday” by  Ioana Pârvulescu (Romania)


Although they found it difficult to get into due to the alternating narratives, readers warmed to the many varied characters as the plot unfolded. They were grateful that the author had included a list of characters at the beginning of the book as it helped to keep track of them. They particularly warmed to Iulia and Nicu, who they described as two spritely individuals with strong temperaments. Readers enjoyed the different perspectives of the eventful occurrences taking place in Bucharest over the last two weeks of the year. They felt that the city came alive for them in the descriptions of life at the end of the 19th century. Readers were fascinated by all the socio-economic changes taking place and reflected on how the world at that time was about to undergo some major upheavals. They said that simply reading the story felt like time travel. They were a bit disappointed that the mystery of Dan Kretzu’s time travel was not more fully explored and regretted that some parts of the story were disjointed. However, they all agreed that it was a lovely book well worth a second read. Overall, it averaged an 8.1 out of 10.

Listen to the author talk about the book


Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature 2013

A young man is found lying unconscious on the outskirts of Bucharest. No one knows who he is and everyone has a different theory about how he got there. Within the pages of this charming book, the stories of a variety of characters unfold, each closely interwoven with the next, and outlining the features of what ultimately turns out to be the most important and most powerful character of all… Read more

Nicola’s Book Club reading list

Season 20 (Oct 2016 – Feb 2017)
“Life Begins on Friday” by Ioana Pârvulescu (Romania)
“In the Beginning Was the Sea” by Tomás González (Colombia)
“Island of a Thousand Mirrors” by Nayomi Munaweera (Sri Lanka) *
“By Night the Mountain Burns” by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel (Equatorial Guinea)
“The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan (U.S.)

Extra book:
“The Yacoubian Building” by Alaa Al Aswany (Egypt)

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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