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Slovak author spills family secrets, Communist upbringing, and living with David Cameron

A Slovak writer tells all about her Communist upbringing and living with David Cameron in a new book.

Beata Holeckova, 45, has lived and taught English to foreign speakers in the UK for the past 16 years, and has now written a book about her experiences as an immigrant.

She will be discussing her book, The Sickle and The Crown at Peasemore Village Hall from 7pm on Saturday, November 12.

The Sickle and The Crown
The Sickle and The Crown

"I learnt that all the good, the bad, the crazy and the ugly events I experienced in my life happened for a reason," she wrote. "You just need to extract a lesson from all of them."

Mrs Holeckova was born and raised in Czechoslovakia, today Czechia and Slovakia. The Velvet Revolution of November 1989 — the non-violent expulsion of the Moscow-aligned Communist regime in charge since 1948 — introduced democracy to Czechoslovakia and enabled Mrs Holeckova to pursue her lifelong ambition of emigrating abroad.

After spending time in Florida as a nanny, Mrs Holeckova permanently resettled in the UK.

In her new book, she reveals how the work of her husband Jiri, who is half-Czech, half-Slovak, led them to reside at Thenford House with Michael Heseltine, a prominent Tory MP under former prime ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major.

Her husband's work later led them to live on the Peasemore family estate of former British Conservative prime minister David Cameron. She says she remains close friends with Alexander Cameron, brother to the former PM, who wrote the foreword for her new book.

Beata Holeckova
Beata Holeckova
Foreword by Alexander Cameron QC, brother of former British prime minister, David Cameron.
Foreword by Alexander Cameron QC, brother of former British prime minister, David Cameron.
"The heart cannot embrace what the mind cannot believe. And the mind cannot trust what the heart cannot accept"

Mrs Holeckova further divulges personal details and family secrets, including her strained relationship with her father, who was a senior figure in the Czechoslovak Communist Party, how an interaction between her family and the Gestapo saved the life of a Jewish girl during the Holocaust, and also details of her ongoing quest to uncover her mother’s true parentage.

Her book is many things: a self-help manual, a coming of age narrative, a commentary on faith and self discovery, and her honest, personal and unfiltered style promises to enlighten and educate Western readers.

Mrs Holeckova has tutored English as an additional language at colleges in Newbury, Reading and Oxford, alongside running her own practice. She currently works with the Berkshire School of English at Broadway House in Newbury. She lived with the Cameron family at Peasemore since 2009 and has recently moved to Hungerford.

Her new book is available to purchase on Amazon. Tickets for her upcoming talk cost £10, with all proceeds being split between Peasemore Church and the Ukrainian Relief Fund.

For further information, please contact Jenny Maskell on jenm1947@icloud.com or call 01635 248540.

Half-Czech himself, reporter Mirek Gosney is keen to hear stories from more Czechs and Slovaks living in West Berkshire and can be contacted at mirek.gosney@newburynews.co.uk.

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