… an Inspiring True Story of Survival and Escape
Romanian-born author Lenuta Hellen Nadolu announces the release of her nonfiction story of escape from an abusive marriage in Africa, Give Me Courage
A strong-willed free spirit, Lenuta “Hellen” Nadolu was born and raised in communist Romania, where women were supposed to know their place. At the age of nineteen, right before she was to begin a hard-won university education, she began seeing a handsome African doctor named Victor and became pregnant. To avoid the wrath of Hellen’s domineering father and an unforgiving community, the couple married and then, against everyone’s advice, moved to Ghana.
But Africa was nothing like Hellen had imagined. Victor considered her merely a possession with few rights and expected her to turn a blind eye to his affairs and his efforts to take other wives. Pushed to the brink, Hellen made a desperate decision – she would get a divorce and smuggle her three children out of the country. But no Western woman had ever divorced a Ghanaian man – let alone been granted custody of the children – and Victor’s powerful family would not give her up without a fight.
An elegantly written tale of courage and cultural terror, Give Me Courage provides insights into the life of a young Romanian girl struggling with hardship and near poverty in communist-ruled Bucharest, where women were expected to be virgins before they’re married and raise children for their country. Faced with disownment by her family and disillusionment and betrayal by her African husband, Hellen learns that standing up for her rights as a woman and a mother can have dire consequences. Filled with determination and the willingness to endure, Hellen’s story provides a look into the life of a woman who persevered in the face of great loss and gives hope to those who believe in the sanctity of human rights for women all over the world.
“My path was to learn life’s lessons by living life,” said Hellen. “I chose life over despair. From an early age, I learned that however unpromising things might seem, overcoming hardship can foster resilience and the strength we need to face the winds of fate. After many years of struggle, I feel nothing but gratitude that my children and I have finally been granted the freedom and opportunities we sought so desperately in the country of Australia, which we now call home.”
Lenuta Hellen Nadolu was born in Cluj, Romania. At the age of four, she and her parents moved to Bucharest. As a little girl, she learned that overcoming hardship could foster resilience. The struggle for her personal freedom began in Romania, a male-dominated society. She married against all odds and her path took her to Ghana, Africa, in the 1970s, where not only was the society dominated by men, but polygamy was accepted and encouraged by tradition. Her struggle reached its peak the day she smuggled her children out of Ghana to return to Romania. In 1984, she fled to Australia and claimed political asylum. Hellen now lives in Sydney with her three children and her grandchildren.
For more information on the author or Give Me Courage, please visit www.xoum.com.au.