Life is Wonderful
She struggles with the unhappy outcome of adopting two Romany children, which she had already described in her earlier book, The Year of the Rooster (Rok kohouta). Readers will empathize with her concern for her mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.
The novel also includes the author’s reflections on art, especially film and literature. Her private family world increasingly blends with the outside world, both finally merging in the death of former president and playwright Václav Havel. During the communist era, the author’s mother was Havel’s lover.
By reading aloud from his old correspondence and telling stories about him, the author attempts to restore her mother’s memories and return her lost life to her, all the while feeling that Havel’s death has also marked the end of a long – and wonderful – chapter in her life.
Boučková’s writing style is concise, clear, and minimalist; the plot is dynamic, well developed, and plays with the reader’s expectations.