No Saints or Angels
by Ivan Klima
The new novel by leading Czech writer Ivan Klima, No Saints or Angels is set in contemporary Prague. It spans three generations, taking in Second ... Show synopsis The new novel by leading Czech writer Ivan Klima, No Saints or Angels is set in contemporary Prague. It spans three generations, taking in Second Word War, Communist and Post Communist times. Kristyna, a forty-five year old dentist, lives in Prague with her unruly sixteen-year-old daughter, Jana. Born on one of the most momentous days of the last century, the day Stalin died, Kristyna's life seems full of uncertainties. Stories of the death of her grandmother and aunt; memories of her difficult relationship with her late father, a member of the Communist party's feared People's Militia; and strange, threatening letters from an anonymous correspondent all serve to compound her sense of unease. During the summer of 1998 she embarks on a relationship with Jan Honza, a thirty-year-old former student of her ex-husband's. Honza's father, a scout-leader, was persecuted by the Communists during the 1950s; his son is now employed by the government to investigate the crimes of the post-war regime. However, not all are happy with their discoveries and his department comes under increasing pressure from the government to disband. Meanwhile, Jana's increasingly erratic behaviour betrays her growing addiction to drugs and her mother is forced to take drastic action in an attempt to change the course of her life. Told with great poise and affection, No Saints or Angels is a profoundly moving exploration of the importance of mutual acceptance and understanding. And the ability to accept life as it is.