Book Reading by Author
Book Reading by Author Helen Notzl – book Long Journey Home
Helen Notzl, B.A., M.S.W., is a dual citizen Czech-Canadian living in Toronto and spending several months of the year at her apartment in Prague. Born in Prague and growing up in Canada, Helen from an early age was drawn back to the country of her birth, returning for the first time as a young woman during the grim and terrible years after the Soviet invasion of 1968. Despite the oppression and ruin everywhere, she found love, reconnected with family, was introduced and sat with two dissident artists’ groups, only to experience betrayal and exile once again.
Her book is a moving song of love of the city of Prague, and chronicles from a very personal perspective the dramatic history of the city from the end of the first world war to the present.
A four-year-old girl survives a harrowing escape across the heavily armed border of Czechoslovakia with her mother and brother after the Communist takeover in 1948. The family leaves everything behind to flee to freedom in Canada.
Years later, as a young woman living in Toronto, she finds herself drawn to the country of her birth and returns to Prague, along the way finding love, danger, heartbreak, and her family’s legacy.
Helen Notzl’s poignant memoir takes readers on a voyage between two starkly different and conflicting worlds – from affluence and fulfillment in Canada to passion and revolution in Prague. Must she choose between the two?
With intense drama, vivid narration, and brilliant detail, Long Journey Home tells the story of a woman’s quest for those things that truly matter to all of us: love, family, identity and homeland.