“The change that came about in her life robbed her of so much it was as if a bomb had destroyed her home.”

Written in 1970, but only published in English in 2020, this coming of age novel draws on Szabó’s own experiences of teaching in a strict Protestant school, during the years in which she was prevented from working as a writer by the Hungarian state.

Gina is ripped from her privileged life in Budapest as the Nazi occupation of Hungary is imminent. She doesn’t understand why she has to leave her family and friends behind without even being allowed to tell them where she is going. The school her father has chosen is a strict puritanical institution where on arrival Gina has to surrender her belongings and all the outer vestiges of her identity…

Of all her novels, Abigail is Magda Szabó’s most widely read in her native Hungary. Rich in imagery, and with Gina’s internal world beautifully realised, it is a tale of suspense and revelation in a shifting world where things are often not quite as they first seem.

To buy this book please send me a message.