A stuffy town in Southern Bohemia is home to Pavla, a teenage girl who needs all her vitality to cope with both the difficulties in her family and the hopeless political situation of the 1950s and 60s. After Pavla’s parents split up, her mother not only hates her father for leaving, but also hates Pavla, his daughter. Nosková embeds this tragedy into the narrow and dull atmosphere of small-town Stalinist, and post-Stalinist, communism. The young, intelligent Pavla, an archetype of her whole generation, is caught in a hopeless situation. She flees—initially to erotic adventures, combined with poetry and philosophy; later, to the streets; and finally, to the madhouse. But it’s her environment, not her, that’s crazy. Paradoxically, the reader must laugh more than cry over the tragic themes of the novel. Because the author detaches from herself to narrate with a mix of bawdy humor and irony.
“[…] one of the best post-1989 Czech novels.”
— Alena Slezáková, MF Dnes