The second book in the Transylvanian Trilogy, Love Odyssey, releases tomorrow and before the book releases I wanted to share my thoughts. This historical fiction book started off strong and this second book continues to add to the powerful story of Anca. I should lead by saying that this is a series where it is best if you read the preceding book first before you check out this new addition. After escaping from communist Romania, Anca Rodescu finds herself abandoned and pregnant. She is completely alone in America and the man she loves is gone. As time passes and Ceausescu is at the height of his dictatorship, change begins to come to Romania. Anca is then drawn back to Romania with mysterious letters from her past and there she finds the man she thought she would never see again. In this story of love and forgiveness we see this all happening in the war-torn theater of Romania. Love Odyssey is a story of love and loss due to political influence. With her use of both fictional and real historical figures the story feels true. If you did not know this was fiction it would feel like someone’s real life unfolding before you. Anca’s love is what pushes her to save the man she thought she had lost and even though almost twenty years has passed she still loves him. If you are looking for an inspiring and well written love story you should pre-order your copy of Love Odyssey today.
What Readers are saying:
Roberta Seret continues her tale of four women’s stories who escaped Ceausescu’s dictatorship in Romania. Seret’s second novel focuses on Anca and her life in New York and struggles with what she left behind in Romania. So well written – can’t wait for the third!
Love Odyssey is the second book of Transylvania Trilogy. This is a story that explores a woman’s soul who refuses to give up loving despite opposition from her country’s dictatorial regime.
The love story evolves into a page-turning political thriller where fact and fiction mix, and poetry and emotion merge. A must read! Exciting and Inspiring!
The journey of Anca leaving Romania—pregnant and searching for the love of her life. Parallel to Anca’s journey is that of her friends who flourish outside of Romania after running from Ceausescu’s dictatorship. Beautifully written; each page draws you in more and more. You can’t help but root for Anka and her friends.
Women in 1960s Romania by Roberta Seret, author of Love Odyssey article in Female First, March 23, 2021
On the outside looking in, younger women in 1960’s Romania had an existential and exciting life. They went to school and got college degrees, spoke different languages, and enjoyed listening to top-charting music. But the Iron Curtain trapped them, forbidden to leave the country. At what cost was freedom and emancipation if they could not truly be free?
Communism disallowed gender inequality. Women were educated equally to their men to build up the country. They were studying and working long hours just like their brothers. Girls and boys, women and men, were being prepared for the future.In their free choices to follow their passions, women were given equal opportunities as their male colleagues. They were “existentialists” before the students of 1968 joined their men to demonstrate for equality and gender rights.
My four protagonists in Transylvanian Trilogy were educated in fields that America had stigmatized women with unwritten quotas. Mica, in Gift of Diamonds, was training to be a dancer and future choreographer. Anca, in Love Odyssey, was educated as a physician specializing in infectious diseases. Marina, in Treasure Seekers, became a chemist and Cristina, a fashion designer. These four friends growing up in their small town of Spera-meaning hope—were Poets of their Lives. As teenage girls, hiking together in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, they already knew they would create a new life for themselves in a different country. They had been educated and encouraged to compete in a man’s world, and they did. They overcame obstacles and created for themselves a life of free choices with the possibilities of success and satisfaction.
But it was not only my female literary creations who achieved. Real women in Romania during the 1960’s were already attaining praise on the global stage:
Queen Elena, who defied Fascism and the German occupation of her country, protected Jews overtly and fed thousands of starving children in her home. Nadia Comaneci was training to become the first world-known gymnast and show that a fourteen-year-old girl could win five Olympic gold medals within days and go on to win a total of nine medals.
Dr Ana Aslan, biologist and physician, was greeting the rich and famous like John Kennedy and Mao Tse-tung, at her clinic in Bucharest for doses of Gerovital H3. This was her magic formula known as a “fountain of youth” to delay aging and keep them strong in power. Angela Gheorghiu was already singing her Opera arias. Famous athletes were practicing their tennis, high jumps, ping pong, track and field. Actresses, singers, musicians, artists … and the list went on for Romanian women.
It is only in hindsight that my imaginary heroines of Transylvania Trilogy realized they had attained a very important freedom in their town of Spera. They were free to become Poets of Their Lives.
Roberta Seret, Ph.D., is the director of Advanced English and Film at the United Nations for the Hospitality Committee and Founder of the NGO at the United Nations, International Cinema Education. Her Transylvanian Trilogy series will be released this February-April. The second book in the trilogy, Love Odyssey, will be released March 23. Visit her website for more information.
UN professor chooses Romania’s Transylvania as the historical setting for a three-book fictional series – Romania Insider 8, March 2021
Transylvania, with its stories about vampires and ghosts, is probably the most famous region of Romania. In a three-book fictional series called Transylvanian Trilogy, United Nations (UN) professor Roberta Seret, Ph.D., combines fiction with factsto unveil other secrets of this legendary Romanian region and its dark past. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
In the second installment of the Transylvanian Trilogy, author Robert Seret continues the saga with Love Odyssey. As Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu continued his tyrannous rule, doctor and activist Anya Rodescu is left pregnant and alone when she escapes to America, realizing her husband is not coming back for her. She stays in America to raise her child, but years later she begins to receive messages that draw her back to her past life in Romania. She returns to find the man that left their family and save him from the war-torn world he’s trapped in. Love Odyssey is a tale of love and forgiveness, woven into a deeply moving story where romance is thwarted by politics and evil.
ROBERTA SERET, Ph.D. is the founder and executive director of the Non-Governmental Organization at United Nations, International Cinema Education Organization and the Director of ESL and Film for the Hospitality Committee of the United Nations. She is an adjunct instructor at New York University in FilmEd and has published various articles in film review for the Journal of International Criminal Justice and Oxford University Press. Her work in the United Nations Global Classroom has been praised by various influential Americans, including Michelle Obama, Mike Bloomberg, and Caroline Kennedy. The Transylvania Trilogy is her first fiction series. She resides in New York City with her husband, and has two sons.
Love Odyssey Reviewed By Brenda on Goodreads February 24, 2021
It was amazing
Wow, what a gripping and powerful book! The second in the Transylvania trilogy, Love Odyssey is simultaneously heartbreaking, beautiful, riveting, suspenseful and marvelous. The first captured me fully and so has the second. Once I started reading it on my Kindle I couldn’t put it down so walked around the house with it, ignoring everything else, getting completely lost in the words and emotions.
The book is set in the epic year of 1989 in Romania as well as in New York with flashbacks to the 1960s and 70s. Nicolae Ceaușescu is the steel-fisted billionaire and communist dictator of Romania while his people starve and barely survive. Politics, history and culture are important to this book but even more so are the themes of lasting love, ambition, righting wrongs and forgiveness.
Pregnant Dr. Anca Rodescu leaves her beloved but crippled Romania for New York. She is desperate not to but her husband Petre urges her to for her own and their baby’s sake. He remains behind as he seeks to topple communism. Ahead nineteen years…Anca is a pediatrician in New York and Sandi is in college. Though Anca has a new life she is haunted and hunted by the past as she has many personal connections. We see what happens in both countries. I was on edge at times from the tension and wondering what would happen next. And oh, the ending!
All Historical Fiction readers ought to pick this up. It is remarkably researched and written with believable characters and plots. Plus the inclusion of interwoven history ties in wonderfully. Eastern Europe holds a personal fascination for me and is is not written about enough. But anyone would glean a lot from this sublime book. I absolutely cannot say enough about it and am afraid I am gushing!
My sincere thank you to Wayzgoose and NetGalley for allowing me the privilege of reading this enthralling book! Already anticipating the third.
Love Odyssey Reviewed By Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite
Love Odyssey by Roberta Seret is a beautiful story with strong political and historical underpinnings, set in the ’70s. The story follows Anca Rodescu, an activist and doctor who is deeply in love as she flees from the communist terror in Romania. In America, while pregnant, she is abandoned by the man she loves. After nineteen years, fate puts her back on the path of the man from her past, the man she believed she would never see again. Can she save him and can the love that was once lost be found in another time and place?
Roberta Seret is a great storyteller and she not only writes believable and compelling characters, but she fashions them from the midst of chaos, allowing the elements of the setting to reflect in their choices. The story begins with intriguing questions on love and quickly features the setting against which it takes place. I marveled at the author’s ability to paint beautiful images in the minds of readers, like the days of yellow leaves turned to smoky evenings. The prose is not just crisp and gorgeous, it has a beauty of its own. This is a novel that explores a woman’s experience of love against a repressive political backdrop, and the author writes about the characteristics of the communist regime with clarity while demonstrating how it breaks those caught in its tide. Love Odyssey has insightful lessons on the power of love. The characters are well-developed and the plot is an exciting journey for readers.
Review by Viga Boland
I am always fascinated by authors who are able to weave a fascinating, but fictitious story around and through actual historical events. Roberta Seret has done this beautifully in her latest novel, Love Odyssey. Even more, readers will be captivated by the touching love story Seret has created between the male and female protagonists, Anca and Petre. It takes Petre nearly two decades to realize success with his plans, which included his own unspoken desire to emerge as the new leader of Romania, but knowing the dangers involved, he arranges for a pregnant Anca to escape safely the US where she builds a new life for herself and her daughter. Though Anca, also a doctor, accepts his decision to send her away, she has never quite forgiven him. She even divorces him. Yet, she never stops loving him, and it is that love that ultimately brings her back to Romania when she receives cryptic messages from a trusted gypsy woman. Between the messages, silent phone calls, and her own unsettling dreams, Anca feels Petre is in danger. She is right. But can she locate Petre once the revolution is underway and he is suddenly off the grid?
Now this love story evolves into a page-turning political thriller. Even readers who aren’t particularly involved with, or interested in the history of Romania in the late 1980s, when that country rose in revolt against the Ceausescu dictatorship, will be absorbed by Seret’s depiction of the historical events. Needing to be certain of exactly how much of Love Odyssey is fiction, I visited Seret’s website. A page there clarifies any confusion. In the story of the two lovers, Petre is Ceausescu’s private physician. This gives him the freedom few had in the Communist dictatorship, a freedom Petre uses to ultimately help him, his countrymen, and several world leaders overthrow the cruel and greedy dictator. It is Seret’s expertise in writing and films that gives Love Odyssey its cinematic possibilities. This novel would make an excellent movie, one that both enlightens and entertains. Hello, Hollywood!