Irina’s Eye by H.W.Freedman


Irina’s Eye was chosen as Semi-Finalist in the 2006 William Faulkner Writing Competition for Unpublished Novels–

“Bohemian border with Bavaria, West Germany, 1948
He should have known. If only he had trusted his intuition. That was the problem, telling the difference between intuition and fear, and he was not about to give into fear. There was no time; they had to flee and it had to be in that moment or they might never have another opportunity.

“They ran into the night.

“The searchlights and rifle shots far behind them seemed unreal until a bullet tore off his right earlobe and he heard that terrible grunt next to him and glimpsed Irina as she lurched forward and fell into the silence. A sick feeling erupted in him along with a fresh rush of adrenaline as he ran.

“At least Irina wasn’t going to be tortured; even those monsters wouldn’t defile a dead girl. If they did, it was only her body. Wherever Irina went, if she went anywhere, she was released from this terrible pain of living.

“Vaclav knew Irina wouldn’t make it. Or did he? His sense of foreboding may have been his selfish fear that she would leave him after they escaped; they would no longer be bound together by the necessity for survival and the hunger for love once they escaped the brutal reality of the regime. So what was he to do? If he had confessed his foreboding about her fate she would have laughed at him in that way she had of making him feel like a silly child, or she may have doubted he wanted her to be with him, which couldn’t be further from the truth. He could never have gone without her. She gave him courage. She was his reason for being. She was his only trusted friend and as of last night she was his lover and he was hers. She had given him his first taste of sex.

“Well, you couldn’t really call what happened at first ‘sex’. He had come so quickly. It was involuntary. Her sensuality took his breath away and before he could do anything about it he was pumped out and ashamed. He was devastated, but she seemed happy; he began to apologise, but she stopped him and they drifted into sleep. Hours later he thought he was still dreaming when he sensed her mouth making him hard. Then she mounted him and she pleasured herself and he had his first experience of the uninhibited bliss of a mutual climax.

“Now she had fallen and he felt the sickness in him and the guilt; he should have trusted his intuition about the danger, but she had made him promise not to give into fear.

“He ran back to her, zigging and zagging to avoid the bullets. He picked her up and as he looked into her eyes to search for life he heard another rifle shot and felt her body jolt; the bullet entered her right temple, her eyes electrified and bulged and her mouth opened and she made a sound that vibrated from her depths and entered him “Go!”; it was a command as the bullet tore through her head and exited and he had to obey and put her down and run with her eye clenched in his right hand.”

Vaclav and Irina, both age fifteen, flee from Bohemia behind the Iron Curtain. Irina is shot and falls. Vaclav flees into West Germany, travelling to Rome and to New York in his quest for spiritual enlightenment and freedom from the guilt that haunts him for his soulmate Irina’s fate.

My views-

A classic, very well written and unpredictable.

The story of World War II. The story of Vaclav and Irina, wanting to get away from Eastern Europe.

Set in the historian times, the book is well written and scrutinized. The story smoothly oscillates between two time periods.

Filled with emotions and warmth, the book is a must read for those who like period books.


6 thoughts on “Irina’s Eye by H.W.Freedman

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