Gabor Nogradi

Coming home

For a summer holiday, Eva, an immigrant from Hungary, now living in London sends her two children to her birth place, a tiny village where her family lives. For the teenage Robert and his little sister, Esther, life in the countryside in Eastern-Hungarian equals to Hell on Earth. Spicy food, overwhelming hospitality, drunken neighbours, old-fashion toilet at the back of the yard, ’chicken-murder’ in the mornings... It is too much for two children from the frantic world of London.


The kids want to return to England, but the parents are relentless: they want their children to get to know the the home country of their relatives. So Robert, and the five years old Esther decide to come home to London on their own and embark on an adventuorus journey through Hungary. They are accompanied by a horse and a dog. The police is on hot pursuit, as well as other strange characters who follow the path of the children in a Trabant – the infamous Eastern-German car.


Robert and Esther live through many humorous, but also risky and enlightening experiences. On their way, they meet many nice and not-so-nice people and they sure get to know the country of their origin, just as their parents wished for: they befriend with a gypsy man and his family, they put on fabulous  horse show and surprise the audience at the local country fair, they teach English to a boatman at the river Tisza and they are getting better and better speaking Hungarian. They join a touring circus, where their horse show becomes a real sensation, when they ride with the Union Jack on the music of the British hymn... in a Hungarian circus.


In the meantime, their parents learn about the disappearance of their children in Southern France and they travel to Budapest in dispair. The director of the circus and his wife are part of a human tracking organization which smuggles children from the East to the West...





(The novel has become part of the Hungarian National School Curriculum in Literature.)