Out of the Transylvania Night by Aura Imbarus


A deftly woven narrative about a young woman’s experience of growing up inside Communist Romania, who flees to the US in search of the America dream, and discovers that freedom—in both free and closed societies—is an innovation of self. An epic tale of identity, love, and the indomitable human spirit. To eighteen-year-old Aura Imbarus, Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu had turned Romania into a land of zombies as surely as if Count Dracula had sucked its lifeblood. Yet Aura dares to be herself: an optimistic overachiever, heiress to lands confiscated by the regime, and a rebel among the gray-clad, fearful masses. Christmas shopping in 1989, Aura and her parents draw sniper fire as Romania descends into the violence of a revolution that topples one of the most draconian regimes in the Soviet bloc. They hide heirloom jewels and build barricades against five harrowing days of chaos. With a bit of Hungarian mysticism in her blood, astonishingly accurate visions lead Aura into danger as well as a closer connection with the love of her life, handsome and sophisticated Michael Chiorean. Eventually, Aura and Michael marry and flee a homeland still in chaos. With only two pieces of luggage and a powerful dream, they settle in Los Angeles where freedom and sudden wealth challenge their love as powerfully as Communist tyranny. Aura loses her psychic vision. Heirloom jewels are stolen, a fortune is lost, followed by divorce and a death. Reeling at first, Aura and Michael find their way back to each other, this time with joy and the true freedom they discover within. They’ve paid a high price for their materialistic dreams, but gain a love that is far richer in this deftly written memoir about identity, love and the indomitable human spirit.

One criteria I have for a 5 Star book is that once done reading I continue to think about what I read. Out of the Transylvania Night by Aura Imbarus is definitely a book that I am still thinking about.

Aura’s memoir of her life in Romania and subsequent immigration to America is remarkable. I must admit my own knowledge of world events is lacking. A revolution in Romania? In fact give me a blank map and I’d have a hard time correctly identifying just where in the world Romania is. Despite my admitted lack of knowledge on world history and geography this book drew me in and held my interest. A book that had me searching the internet for more information on the author, Romania and Nadia Comaneci.

Aura’s story of growing up in Communist Romania is a story of hope and the struggle for freedom. This captivating book details the difficulties encountered by those who legally immigrate to America. From trying to obtain a job to learning how to order a meal at McDonalds, Aura’s description of her life as an immigrant was eye opening. Through her pursuit of the American dream Aura loses herself and those that she loves but ultimately through her journey rediscovers her roots, her loves and herself.

Out of the Transylvania Night is the story of overcoming trials, achieving goals, following your heart, remaining true to yourself and finding real happiness. Aura Imbarus show us there is more to living the American Dream than owning a nice car.

Content: A little language in a couple scenes but otherwise a clean read.

Rating: 5 Stars to this very memorable book.