Monday, August 07, 2023

Book Blast & Giveaway: Mama Dida: My Road to Canada by Leonida Teohari

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions
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Memoir / Biography
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Publication Date: May 31, 2023
Print length: 190 pages



After experiencing the second world war tragedies and living through the socio-political changes in Romania, Grandpa Aurel and Grandma Dida for the love of their beloved grandchildren Darius and Anna, decided to leave family, friends and everything they built in Romania and start a new life in Canada. 

Nadia Comaneci's incredible gymnastic success at the Olympic games in Montreal was what they knew at the time about Canada. Grandpa Aurel and Grandma Dida’s courage and personal sacrifices were the foundation for the education Darius and Anna accessed in Toronto and the life they enjoyed in Canada.

The book presents real events and is based on a true story.

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When Constanta first got bombed, we had to rush to take cover in a trench made by a neighbour of ours behind our building. After this first bombing experience, Mother Voica packed her savings in a bag, took my sister Helen and me, and fled to Ovidiu, a nearby village. This was not before a heated discussion between my brother Costy and Mother Voica. Costy convinced Mother Voica that he should stay home to watch for the apartment and the furniture. This was all we owned, and my brother would rather risk getting bombed than lose it to the looters.

So, we said goodbye while all crying. Costy was on the balcony waiving at us until our carriage turned the first corner in the direction of Ovidiu village. Mother Voica cried for Costy the entire way, her first child and the only boy.

The war opened my eyes. To be a refugee even in our own country was not easy; imagine having to leave your country.

Mama Voica rented one room with a small cooking stove. From eggs to a litre of milk, everything was double the city prices. We came to the village hoping to save money, however the reality of war proved different.

This was the time to help my mother, so I started learning how to cook.

Helen had a talent for negotiating prices with the villagers and she also had fun doing it. Mother Voica used to refer to her as Jewish.

After few weeks, Mother Voica decided to return home. She told us that she was short of money but we both knew that she was worried about Costy. Helen and I approved immediately; we also missed our brother and the apartment.

Mother Voica hired a carriage and two soldiers, and we started our way back to Constanta.


4 stars!

The fascinating life story of Ekaterina Teohari, the woman known as Mama Dida, to her family and friends.

Mama Dida: My Road to Canada is the life story of Ekaterina Teohari, a Romanian grandmother who, along with her two grandchildren, immigrated to Toronto, Canada, to reunite with her husband, son, and his wife, who had previously sought political asylum. After a two-year separation, Mama Dida, Anna, and Darius were finally back together as a family. Her son completed Dida’s story from her personal writings and is a lovely tribute to a mother who loved her family above all else.
Mama Dida lived through an amazing time in history. She is of the generation that experienced World War II firsthand, personally witnessing the violence of war as her hometown was bombed around her. She writes extensively about her mother, Voica, who successfully reared three children through this terror and did it alone. She presents numerous examples of how difficult these times were and how magnificently strong a woman her mother was. Later, Dida proves she learned well at her mother’s side as she displays time and again the same courage and strength.

This memoir includes detailed descriptions of life and the political changes in Romania after the close of World War II and how her family was affected. I was unaware of Romania’s history, and this made for eye-opening reading. 

I recommend MAMA DIDA: MY ROAD TO CANADA to readers of non-fiction, memoirs, and those who want to read about history from someone who lived through it.  


Leo Teohari was born in Constanta, Romania. Leo holds both a law degree and a degree in international economics. Leo defected from Communist Romania in 1980, and settled with his family in Toronto, Canada, where he became a businessman. Today he writes about his experiences and runs an international food trade business. In 2004 he published his first book, Hawala, based on a true story about a government cover-up and diversion related to the Romanian revolution in 1989.


The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting and reviewing today.

marisela zuniga said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book, it sounds great