By Mr. Dimitar TANEFF, a Literature Critic
Margarita Monaco is writing in an unveiled and trusty manner. In her newest novel, “The Australian Girl”, she writes about the love, the cherished ellipsis of the family and the kin, about feelings and emotional experiences, she writes as a romantic, as a dreamer, as an affectionate, arduously expecting woman, believing in the good and in the light.
In that sense “The Australian Girl” could be - partially and conditionally- described as a love novel, a family novel, even as a ladies’ novel, including here only the very positive radiation of those definitions. Because, thanks God, both her first novel “Marina” and “The Australian Girl” are not too much sentimental, nor are they maudlin or kitten-fluffy, neither nakedly-erotic. They are not written as per the revived easy cliché of the “pinky” novel series. I would rather spell out the typology of the prolonged family-and-love saga in the two novels of Mrs. Monaco, with the evident effort to overpass their narrow frames and to interpret a form of sociological, even a political point of view, and thus to increase the density and seriousness of the narration.
Margarita Monaco narrates and gets herself involved in her narration. I stress again - this basic, traditional and irrevocable requirement is turned a back to more and more today, and this way the literature becomes a NON-literature. Consciously or not, authoress had entered this undeclared pleading and thus for a second time shows boldness - she is waving the flag of the feelings, staying on her tiptoes, writing an ode for the force of attraction of mutual love in the times of most crude pragmatism and all possible wrecks. As if she wants to prove, to declare that the youth and the love are eternal, unbound to circumstances, considerations, every-day live…
We should mark that the novel “The Australian Girl” is chasing the line of suspense. The very love between Amy, the Australian with a Bulgarian origin, and Philip, the typical Bulgarian boy from the end of the previous century, premises a number of conventions and obstacles: tremendous distance, which is putting the affectionate relation on trial and testing, and re-testing; different mentalities and live philosophy, different education and manners, and stiles of live, inherited and acquired in the relevant social environment and family background; habits and understandings, etc. Let us add here and one exceptional reason - it turns out that one of the parents of the enamored is of them both, and Amy has to pay for the faults and infatuations of her mother.
In our case, the authoress has reached a certain narrative success - she slowly and delicately prompts this dramatic case during all the narration; but she revealed it and proclaimed it finally just at the end, after condensing and concentrating the things up to that moment, for turning one seemingly loving and lyric relationship into a trial, a drama, a fate.
As I have said, the task Margarita Monaco has posed to herself is of much higher density. Above the intimate histories and in parallel to them, she includes our hard live in the crucial moments of the last two-three decades - the reduced, cut-down and somewhat gray existence of the people at the end of the so called “developed socialism”, the painful adaptation to the new circumstances, terms and mentality, to an unknown and unwanted live and relations; the disappointments, the new confusion and the withdrawal into the safe harbor of the family.
This way in her both novels – “Marina” and “The Australian Girl”, the authoress Margarita Monaco has made the contents of her works problematic, much deeper and on a much larger scale and dimensions.