Marrying Hungary

Marrying Hungary

By Margaret Goldik

A review of Marrying Hungary by Linda Leith

Published on April 30, 2009

Marrying Hungary
Linda Leith

Signature Editions
$18.95
paper
264pp
1-897109-29-6

Linda Leith’s memoir is an honest look at the life of an outsider. Growing up in several countries, in a family which marched to its own drummer, Leith had a deep longing for something or somewhere she could call home. She found “home” in her marriage to another outsider, a man whose family had fled the Hungarian Revolution to settle in Canada.

This is also the story of a marriage, and of the third party which can exist in any marriage – in this case, a country. Despite her efforts to become part of her husband’s world, as the life they created together inevitably changed over the years Leith was forced to find her own unique role. Her struggles to be a “good wife,” whatever that was, and her instinctive flair for motherhood were an uneasy fit with her academic and writing life. From an early age Leith had a passion for literature and the literati, and her heart’s desire was to be part of a literary community. Marrying Hungary is the story of an ambitious woman and how she eventually achieved her dreams – and what the price was that she paid.

Any member of a minority group, or anyone who is “from away” – which is most of us – can relate to her efforts to discover her own place in the world. mRb

Margaret Goldik is a former editor of the Montreal Review of Books.

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