Right now I am reading yet another Romanian book (I have to read a handfull for the new school year, I'll return to foreign books later) titled "Ion" (Romanian equivalent for John). It has multiple characters that come and go, each with their stories, but three of them really stand out.
Ion is a thief, a man with no virtues, that left a rich man's daughter pregnant and lied to her that he loves her only so that he would nary her and get all of the man's farmable lands and properties (world was different in Austran-Hungarian Transylvania). Eventually, the daughter hangs herself, the baby dies, and now Ion must find a way to keep the lands for himself (because now that the two died, the rich guy can take them all back).
The second one is an old teacher, friend with Ion, that tries to do his job and live his life peacefully. The only problem: he was teaching his students in Romanian, which was really pissing off the Hungarian learning system (which was extremely unfriendly towards minorities).
The third one is the teacher's son, a young idealistic guy who is going through a nationalist awakening. He broke up with his Hungarian girlfriend, fled to another town, broke up with yet another girl which was in some sort of thing with another Hungarian, and now is trying to flee to Romania, which seems to be considered like a heaven for the minorities of Transylvania.