Transylvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories,
by Patricia Furstenburg
Publication: August 23, 2021
In Transylvania’s History A to Z, a collection of 100-word stories sprinkled with breathtaking photographs, Patricia Furstenberg uses the confining rules of the 100-word story form to stirringly capture Transylvania, Romania’s historical and geographical region.
Transylvania’s unspoiled natural beauty, its tumultuous history, and the people who touched it are depicted in this book.
Written as snapshots, tall tales, and descriptive narratives, these 100-word stories are the espresso of creative writing.
I am so happy to bring you my review of the latest masterpiece by Patricia Furstenburg, Translyvania’s History A to Z: 100 Word Stories. I have read and reviewed a great deal of Patricia’s books ranging from childrens books to a novel about Marines, their service dogs, and their time serving in Afghanistan. Not that I was surprised, but this book was just as wonderful as everything else I have read of hers.
The layout of the book consists of short, 100-word stories telling about a time, place, person, or group of people in Transylvania’s history. After each story is a historical description of what the story was about, the setting, and/or the time period. Lastly, Furstenburg has included beautiful photographs at the end of each story to add that visual element of understanding about what she was writing about. The writing and language are beautiful, yet challenging as she includes words and sayings from the various historical time periods. Although each story is short, they are thought-provoking and command your attention and concentration in order to truly understand what she is trying to say.
What I loved about each story and description is the relevance that Transylvania’s history holds even today, regardless of where you live, race, ethnicity, and so on. For example, in one of the stories we hear the voice of a young woman who cannot be with the man she loves because of being from different clans or religions. Another is about a charismatic man getting people to “jump on the bandwagon” to migrate east to a better land. There is another about a leader hearing of a different land that he wants to acquire, yet is unable to pay for any land so he takes it by force. One that particularly stood out was about 2 skeletons found and modern DNA being able to match them as relatives who died fighting one another.
Any of these sound familiar in modern times?
Besides the commonalities between these stories and modern times, I thoroughly enjoyed the historical snippets about Transylvania’s history. Furstenburg details a time and place that I really knew nothing about, with the exception of Vlad the Impaler, so I was delighted in everything I learned about the language, war, and geography of the area. This was a fabulous and quick read, yet it’s a book you can revisit and continue to enjoy the fictional stories while learning more about Translyvania. I highly recommend this to lovers of language and history and have already thought of numerous people that are difficult to buy for that this would make a unique and interesting holiday gift!