Original title: Století na vlnách
If a Finnish general were to meet a Czech woman writer, what might happen? Set against a backdrop of Czecho-Finnish relations as they truly were, this absorbing fiction is told against the stream of time.
Love determined by historic change is often of the non-romantic kind. The knotted thread of Czecho-Finnish relations runs through the life of Czech-German writer Dorothea Illing, to dramatic effect. As it does through that of Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim, one of the founders of independent Finland.
Inconspicuous decisions can become entangled with great moments of history to affect the lives of whole generations. In the eye of major events, people remain concealed – along with their most ordinary wishes and desires, not least in respect of safety, home and understanding. Heroes, however, must often choose between courage and cowardice, resolution and resignation, sacrifice and selfishness. Consequences of their decisions will reverberate long after the lives of the protagonists have been washed away on the waves of time.
Predatory waves of advancing time sweep away everything in their path. The characters in A Century on the Waves defy them. Their fight for the right to a fulfilled life is heroic and moving, albeit occasionally ridiculous and embarrassing.
"Few writers are as readable and engaging as Markéta Hejkalová. Her new book takes us into our past in a way unusual for literature, bringing us closer to real events and great figures in the history of Finland – a country about which we still know less than we should." — Alena Mornštajnová, writer