During the hardest years of communism, in Chișinău in 1980s, Russian Tamara Pavlovna saves a little girl Lastochka from the orphanage. Although it originally seems like a good deed, it has a dark side. A lonely and ambitious woman, who forms a complex relationship full of gratitude and resentment with the girl, wants to give Lastochka a prosperous future, but also use her for her labour.
For almost an entire decade Lastochka collects bottles on the street, learns to cheat, defend herself and get by in multicultural and bilingual city, a world of violence and poverty, a world she plans to escape by educating herself. The inhabitants of her backyard, kind-hearted “little” people who make up a contrasting and picturesque universe, transfer a part of their warmth to Lastochka and become her new family. However, the pain of parental abandonment and questions to which she does not know the answers never stop plaguing her.
Awarded the European Union Prize for Literature, “Glass Garden” is the second novel by one of the most appreciated contemporary Romanian authors Tatiana Țîbuleac. The storyteller shows in an astonishing manner, scene by scene, the everyday life of a child victim, a woman and a mother, with all its cruelties and beauties, a life led on the surface of great historical and political changes during the fall of USSR, unobtrusively, but allusively and evocatively conjured up. A stylistic masterpiece, this is a novel about identity, differences, struggle and fate and finding your own place in the world, but also a novel of an entire generation of women.