In the bestselling tradition of Doctor Zhivago and Sophie's Choice, a sweeping epic of Russia from the last days of the Tsars to today's age of oligarchs -- by the prizewinning author of Young Stalin. Winter 1916: St. Petersburg, Russia, is on the brink of revolution. Outside the Smolny... show more
In the bestselling tradition of Doctor Zhivago and Sophie's Choice, a sweeping epic of Russia from the last days of the Tsars to today's age of oligarchs -- by the prizewinning author of Young Stalin. Winter 1916: St. Petersburg, Russia, is on the brink of revolution. Outside the Smolny Institute for Noble Girls, an English governess is waiting for her young charge to be released from school. But so are the Tsar's secret police... Beautiful and headstrong, Sashenka Zeitlin is just sixteen. As her mother parties with Rasputin and their dissolute friends, Sashenka slips into the frozen night to play her part in a dangerous game of conspiracy and seduction. Twenty years on, Sashenka is married to a powerful, rising Red leader with whom she has two children. Around her people are disappearing, while in the secret world of the elite her own family is safe. But she's about to embark on a forbidden love affair that will have devastating consequences. Sashenka's story lies hidden for half a century, until a young historian goes deep into Stalin's private archives and uncovers a heartbreaking tale of betrayal and redemption, savage cruelty and unexpected heroism -- and one woman forced to make an unbearable choice.
Publish date: November 11th 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages no: 512
Edition language: English
If not for part three of this novel, this would have been a 1.5 star read. I don't want to give too much away (even using spoilers). Part three involves a young girl named Katinka who is hired by a woman to track down her biological parents who gave up their children in the days before Russia would ...
I am setting this one aside 30-odd pages in for two main reasons: 1) Pacing within scenes seems off and characters not quite believable. 2) Holy male gaze, Batman! Literally the first thing we learn about the (16-year-old) protagonist is her breast size. They are, in case you wanted to know (I d...