This is the book I have been  writing on : A Window to My Soul.

Short outline: It is about who we are at the core and how society shapes us as we grow up. The book is also about overcoming challenges and taking strong self-leadership when big obstacles arrive at your door step.

Be clear who you are and stay grounded even if there is a storm outside.

The story unfolds 1985 :  that is  the time when I met Mihai in Mamaia, Black Sea Coast in Romania and we started writing to each other. I was 13 and he 14 years old. We kept in contact for all those years. In September 2011 we met again after 26 years.

In the beginning of our pen-friend days we wrote about music and running. After awhile I started to realize what it was like living there, in a closed Communistic state, and when he told me not to write about politics  I got angry and frustrated many times. But had to respect it. The book mirrors the contrast of a closed and open society.

His drive, thoroughness and will-power was present as a 14 years old and are still there today, when he is 40.

Some things don’t change.

The core of who we are.

The story has a political perspective, but most of all mirrors one individual, Mihai, and how he grew up  in Communist Romania. It also takes the reader to Mihai’s way of getting out of Romania after the Revolution in 1989 and the meeting with Europe.

The last part of the book is taking us to today.  Global Village. Trying to understand a post-Communism society , the Romanian,  that was closed for such a long time and is today open and a member of the European Community. – What is the EU really about now and where has solidarity gone ?

Moreover : – How do the mentality and cultural identity of a whole people change when the constitution changes so drastically ?  Do they change ? How does the Romanian people deal with self-leadership, responsabilty and initiative ?

When you read the story I hope you will be called forth on your own strength and will-power instantly and be able to recover from obstacles, come out of challenges with hope kept inside you.

I never met Mihai  again until September 2011. That was the point when I “heard ” that his story needed to be told.

The story is Mihai’s and our deep, special friendship through our  letters adds value to the story you will be reading.

Something that struck me again when starting to write was : – Seize  the moment. I met Mihai for 1 hr one evening in 1985 as a 13 year old. That was not much measured in time. However, we came to develop a deep, special friendship through our letters: him growing up in a closed society where Ceausescu ruled and I in an open Sweden.

Stay open to people and situations.

They are probably there for a reason.


Check out hashtag #ooralamamaia and see how the story starts to come alive as a film with Tudor Giurgiu directing it :

Romanian journalist Brad Florescu kindly translated some passages from the manuscript into Romanian. You can read them here :


38 thoughts on “BOOK: A WINDOW TO MY SOUL

  1. Dear Yvette:

    You would remember this – that you were the one that literally challenged me to start blogging. I did. That blog has taken on a life of its own.

    Thanks for sharing the story of your relationship of impact with Mihai. Yes, the story had to be told. It is not often that such experiences occur. I want more. Your book has to be published, SOOOOOOON.

    Your story reminded me of mine with Bob 23 years ago. That single experience changed the course of my life and accounted for who I am and what I am about in the world.

    Yes, the story must be told. Keep writing my dear. Yes, the book will be published.



  2. Yes, Okokon, I remember reading all your inspiring Facebook-post and felt people reading them, I included, wanted to hear more from you ! I ‘m starting to look for publishers now. In my dreams I want the book to be filmed too.

    – Who was Bob and how did that story change you ?

    Much love and have a beautiful Christmas with your loved ones!

  3. wow Yvette, what an amazing story…I salute you and look forward to reading the book. it sounds inspirational, not only as a recounting of his story, but also what it has inspired you to do and share with us. Much love Ruth

  4. frankly, i spent now the last couple of hours reading through your blog :)…and i am so delighted, very beautiful words about my country…it was really a pleasure for mind and soul…THANK YOU for that.
    looking forward to the book…hope you make everything possible that it lands also in romanian book shops

    1. Adrian, thank you. I got very happy from reading your comment 🙂 I hope the page can be an inspiration for people here to go visit Romania again. I hope to get more readers also from HERE. That’s the challenge. I ‘m happy if the blog lands well with you Romanians. If you have feedback, ideas or any thing else you d like to share please email me :

      1. lands well !?! ohh it lands extremely well; it’s good to read some nice words for a change…in all this political and economical turmoil (that you’ve witnessed as well)
        and not only your words, but also involvement in the local community deems a lot of appreciation. YOU sell Romania better than our touristic office (which btw. had no clue it’s in NY…wow)
        you got yourself an avid reader of the blog and the BOOK

      2. :-)))))

        I want to show the GOOD sides of Romania.
        There is so much and its about time the world should know about them too.

        Yes, I feel very strongly for Romania.

  5. Me too…can’t wait to return home after 3 years abroad. And you’re right Western Europe has no clue what happened to this country since the fall of communism.

    1. Aha, so where are you now ? Why did you go ? Well, we didn’t know anything about Romania during communism either , so not much has changed….. Well, acctually, at least in Scandinavia, we were traveling to the Black Sea, but that is non-existant now. So maybe we knew MORE back then, than now ? Let’s change that, bit by bit …..Thanks for coming by and commenting.

  6. I was and am currently in Switzerland, for reasons of education/international work exposure/experience a different culture, etc.
    and witnessed that most of what is known about Romania is linked to a rather negative perception (like roma people for e.g., and not the ‘good’ ones, the ones that are great musicians, mercenaries and craftsmen, but the ‘bad’ ones that always leave a bad mark wherever they lay grounds)
    I am confident this image will change bit-by-bit, and people like YOU make this happen. We are proud of our country and what our ancestors have build up and there are lots of Romanians choosing to return home and preserve the GOOD part of it.
    Well…thanks for writing and being such an enthusiastic promoter 🙂

  7. I love your “Bucharest Lounge”. I also look forward to reading your book.
    As an Englez… “Imi place Romania”.
    I discovered Romania accidentally 4 years ago.
    I had been discussing a music video on YouTube with a delightful and intelligent Romanian woman. She was amazing. We exchanged email addresses and she invited me to Bucharest.
    I love Bucharest and Sighisoara, particularly. After 4 summer holidays, there are STILL many sights I have not seen in Bucharest alone. I also love the beauty of the Romanian countryside.
    When eating at the Caru cu bere in August 2012, I specifically noticed a party group at the table next to me. It was nice to see such a mixed group of different peoples. Perhaps the result of Romania being the most invaded country / region in the world!
    It reminded me of England.

  8. @peterxfay: Please, from the bottom of my heart, help brits know about romania & its people as you see it… they seem terrified with all the bad publicity recently published in the local news, ie daily mail and articles about 1Jan2014, gypsy & robbery…
    @Yvette: I cannot wait to have your book! Good luck with it!!

    1. Isabela Pop….
      I think the biggest problem Romania has… is the blind and stupid Western media.
      When I first researched Romania, before my first visit, it took me less than 30 minutes to have an excellent knowledge by surfing the Internet. Most journalists lose interest after 30 seconds… unless it gives them a financially profitable story!
      For example…. Roma gypsies, who unfortunately have Romanian passports and cause a lot of the problems in Western Europe, are actually immigrants (originally) from India. So, they are NOT natural Romanians.
      The natural Romanian people are actually friendly, honest and most generous, despite being financially poor.
      I explain all of these points several times a week to new people I meet in England. I also show them a lovely photo of the beloved woman who first invited me to visit Bucharest….

  9. Bună (as you love România, I salute you in roumanian language).

    I’m from Bucharest and I really love what you show about the real România, not the one shown in media. It would be very interesting to read your book about my country. And maybe meet you sometimes in Bucureşti… Have you thought of translating the book in roumanian and publish it here (in România)? I can’t promise that I can help you totally with this (we must lok for the publisher in România and the conditions of publishing), but if you want, we can work together for the roumanian edition of your book.

  10. Congratulations Yvette, you are doing a great job. As a Romanian living in Scandinavia, I must say that you are among the few who dared to go beyond the scary image offered by the media in the Western Europe. There is a Norwegian author, Svanhild Naterstad (maybe you know about her) who also wrote a book about Romania (in Norwegian), but she could not get enough finances to publish it on a larger scale. This means that you have to order the book on the internet. It is not available in bookstores. That’s a pitty, because the book is well written and most of the Norwegians, (Scandinavians) would have gained a lot by reading it. I am really looking forward to read your book,
    Hilsener from Oslo,

    1. Thank you, Silvia.
      You say “…you are among the few who dared to go beyond the scary image offered by the media in the Western Europe.”
      It was not until I met an intelligent Romanian woman on YouTube that I surfed the Net. I was very surprised to learn about the lies the British press fed in the past and still feed today about Romania, to the British public.
      I am disgusted and offended by those lies.
      However, I now will never holiday anywhere else. As an Englishman, I am always treated with great respect in Romania.
      Romania este cel mai bun… Romania is the best!

  11. Hello Peter,
    Glad to see an Englishman speaking with such enthusiasm about Romania. And that despite terrible articles about the country printed in most tabloids in Britain 🙂 or elsewhere in Europe.
    I wonder if you know about this site: If you want to discover new places and fantastic people, you can try this next time.

  12. Multumesc, Silvia.
    As I said, my enthusiasm for Romania was inspired by a beautiful and intelligent Romanian woman. I will always be grateful to her.
    I have visited Count Kalnoky’s webpage before and I would love to stay at one of his excellent guesthouses.
    I have driven from Bucuresti to Sighisoara a couple of times. It is a lovely road with many sights to see along the way. It is an arduous 6 hour drive, but is worth the effort.
    Discovering another part of Transylvania by foot would, I am sure, be a delightful experience.

  13. Buna Yvette,
    my name is Vlad and I am a romanian living in Helsinki together with my Finnish girlfriend (that’s how I ended up here). For the last couple of months we have been thinking about relocating to Bucharest but the biggest challenge is to find a job for my girlfriend who doesn’t speak Romanian so good yet but she is fluent in English, Finnish and a bit of Swedish. I know that you have a Coaching and Leadership Consultancy business and was wondering if you have any contacts that we could use or if you need somebody for your company.
    Thanks a lot and sorry to bother you with this.

    Best regards,

  14. Dear Yvette, I’d really like to read the book – have you managed to publish it yet? If yes, it must be available also in Bucharest, right :)? Looking forward to receiving your answer. hugs from happy Bucharest, Diana

  15. Dear Yvette,
    I, as – I’m sure – every Romanian who “landed” on your blog, am amazed and overwhelmed with gratitude. You are a true ambassador of our country and you should, indeed, get paid for this job. It appears that until now our thank you messages are your only reward so may they bring you joy.
    I have chosen to comment on this article from all the beautiful and inspirational ones I’ve read in the last several hours (yes, your blog is addictive!) because the first contact I had with all these was through the exchange of letters between you and Mihai translated in Romanian by Brad Forescu on his
    Now what can I say more besides the fact that I’m looking forward to reading the book? Oh, maybe just a suggestion: please launch your book in Romania, too (for instance, Gaudeamus Book Fair will take place this year between 20th and 24th of November in Bucharest).

    Thank you so much for all your work!

  16. Dear Ivette, Thank you for what you do . There are Romanians living abroad but do not do these things . Are you an angel . And you are very beautiful . You have a noble soul . God protect you 🙂

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