Budapest, 1956. In the darkest year of Hungary’s modern
history, a national uprising against Soviet occupiers and their reign of terror
is underway. Eleven-year-old Évike and her firebrand mother steal deep into
battle zones in support of civilian freedom fighters, armed only with primitive
weapons and desperate courage against the heavy artillery of trained Russian
troops. When taken in for interrogation by the secret police, little Évike
spins a story to deflect attention from her mother’s revolutionary activities—a
story that will irrevocably alter many lives and reach its tentacles, thirty
years later, into the life of Ildikó Palmay.
Chicago, 1986. Ildikó is a thirty-seven-year-old librarian
and ESL teacher, the American-born daughter of Hungarian refugees. She is
caught in a web of guilt and regret over her mother’s mystifying death.
Unsettled by her life and her romantic failures, she finds herself suddenly and
unexpectedly drawn back to her roots—first to the Hungarian neighborhood of
her youth in Chicago, and eventually to the Russian-occupied city of Budapest.
Along the way, she meets a magnetic man who may not be what he seems and
uncovers a trail of secrets and betrayals that eventually intersects with the
tangled knot of the mother-daughter participants in the revolution.
Triptych is the
suspenseful unfolding of two parallel stories of mother and daughter
relationships forged in the brutalities of the 1956 Hungarian revolution—a tale
about the corrosive power of secrets and, ultimately, the healing power of
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