Original title: Vrány
readers' poll Book of the Year, organized by Čtení tě mění / Reading Changes You Endowment Fund 2020 (Literary Fiction category)
Polish (Stara Szkoła, 2020, Mirosław Śmigielski), Macedonian (Muza, 2020, Igor Stanojoski)
An intimate tale that ends where the darkness begins, in which the writer of the successful novels The Village / Dědina and The Surgeon / Chirurg is on excellent form.
That twelve-year-old Bára is on the brink of adolescence is apparent from her artistic gift and her unrestrained nature, which sometimes runs out of control. With the onset of puberty, the conflict between Bára’s spontaneity and her mother’s desire for a life free of complication intensifies dramatically, not least when Bára is compared with her slightly older, more submissive sister. As Bára gives her natural behaviour ever freer rein, those around her become ever fiercer in their attempts to control her incomprehensible, outside-of-the-box needs. Her gift is noticed by a young art teacher nicknamed Frodo, who offers sensitive support for her struggle with the demands of her family, but whose apparent decency cloaks some very dark places. In the trench warfare of misunderstanding, Bára sustains one loss after another. Her only allies are the crows nesting in the park, below her window. In these crows Bára recognizes an instinct which informs the lives of animals and humans alike, and she feels ever closer to their world. Will anyone offer her help she can use? Is there any other way out of this?
"Petra Dvořáková is able to find attractive literary links in simple human tales, which she tells in an unputdownable way. They can each be read in one go and then echo on for a long time. (…) And how many growing girls like that suffer to the end without anybody really helping them, without anybody really believing them?!"
Klára Kubíčková, Vlasta
"Crows / Vrány is a book that is slim and in places as sharp as a razor. (…) Violence towards children is part of our everyday world that we must not close our eyes to. In her latest book Crows, Petra Dvořáková presents a topical subject that needs to be talked about in public."
Lucie Trávníčková, Deník N
"The story of the suffocating relations within an outwardly respectable family, which is woven sensitively, skilfully and yet straightforwardly, drawing the reader in."
Barbora Cihelková, Právo