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"Torch" by Lyn Miller-Lachmann


Torch cover

Three teens struggle to carve out futures for themselves under a totalitarian regime.


Czechoslovakia, 1969


Seventeen-year-old Pavol has watched his country's freedoms disappear in the wake of the Soviet Union's invasion. He's seen his own dreams disappear too. In a desperate, fatal act of protest against the oppressive new government, he sets himself on fire in public, hoping to motivate others to fight for change.


Instead, Pavol's death launches a government investigation of his three closest friends. Štěpán finds his Olympic hockey ambitions jeopardized and must conceal his sexual orientation from authorities who could use it against him. Tomáš has already been accused of “antisocial” behavior because he struggles to follow the unwritten rules of everyday interactions, and now he must work even harder to meet the expectations of his father, the leader of the local communist party. And aspiring film director Lída, Pavol’s girlfriend, is pregnant with his child, which brands her a traitor by association and upends her all her plans.


With their futures hanging in the balance, all three must decide whether to keep struggling to survive in the country Pavol died hoping to save...or try to escape, together, in search of a better life.





Disability rep: #ND #AutismSpectrumDisorder


Other representation: #LGBTQIA #Queer #Gay


Publication date: #November2022 #2022year

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