In the summer of 1989, the Pop family leaves communist Romania for an uncertain immigrant life in New York City. Homesick and lonely, Maria Pop has trouble adjusting to their new circumstances. While watching live footage of the Romanian Revolution and sensing the chance for a new beginning in the country she loved, she starts second-guessing her decision to follow her husband to New York. Her unhappiness breaks the family apart. Decades later, it’s her daughter’s turn to feel lost and alone in the urban jungle of Manhattan. Caught up in their struggles for stability and self-realization, mother and daughter grow further and further apart, until a potentially disastrous engagement forces Maria to stage an intervention. Will releaving her darkest secret serve as a life lesson for her floundering daughter, or will it drive her away forever?
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Maria Elena Sandovici was born in Bucharest, a city she loves, and can never stay away from too long. In the pursuit of international adventures, she left Romania to attend college, then graduate school, in the United States. Her first novel, DOGS WITH BAGELS is loosely inspired by her own detours as a young foreign woman navigating the emotional potholes and financial pitfalls of Manhattan. Her second novel, STRAY DOGS AND LONELY BEACHES addresses the need to flee from one’s problems and seek new adventures in a remote corner of paradise. But can one really get away? LOST PATH TO SOLITUDE revisits the cast of characters from DOGS WITH BAGELS a decade later, facing new problems – or perhaps being stuck repeating old patterns and mistakes.
She is also the author of the blog Have Watercolors Will Travel, an artist, a dog owner, and a person, much like her characters, still looking for a place in the world to call home. Having fled the pricey real estate and cruel winters of New York, she lives in Galveston, Texas, wears sandals in February, walks her dog on sunny beaches, and travels frequently to Romania, Spain, and many other places, which all prompt the unavoidable question: Should I maybe stay here for good? For updates on her adventures, and daily watercolors, you can check her blog.