Group Reader Guide

Sándor Déki Lakatos–Gypsy Song

INTROWORLD HISTORYGEOGRAPHYECONOMICSGOVERNMENTWORLD LITERATURECREATIVE WRITINGMEDIA STUDIESMUSIC

INTRODUCTION:

Mica, the teen-aged protagonist in “The Gift of Diamonds,” is a picaresque hero. Through her eyes and adventures, we see the last 75 years of the 20th century history in Romania. As she rides on her bicycle in the introductory chapters, she relates to us her experiences with Fascism, Communism, and then in the developing chapters, with Terrorism.

This historical novel offers the reader a “window” to a Romania when the country’s totalitarian governments kept their people closed to the world. But today, Romania is a vibrant society and the people, so full of life and creativity, like my beloved Mica, are open to the world and they are forging forward to make up for lost time.

To better understand this ancient and renewed country, Mica’s story is an informative introduction. I have fused fiction and fact to make the history more vibrant, and the fiction more creative. I enjoyed immensely writing this story. To be an author demands one’s entire being and I gave all my passion, willingly, to recreate a world that may be little known to others. But I am also a teacher and I share my love for writing with stimulating my students.

Please join me as I travel with you through Romania and we learn about this unique country. For now, I won’t use Mica’s bicycle as a vehicle, but I will use a “Multi-disciplinary” format, of analyzing the book and country from 8 perspectives. And when we finish, continue on in this section as I describe how I fused my personal story into Mica’s story. I intermixed fact and fiction again, but my own life started the novel’s beginning.

Additional information and factual resources can be found in the “fact/fiction” and “factual resource materials” sections on The Gift of Diamonds website.