A special thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Fitch amazed me with Paint in Black. I listened to the audiobook that was read by Jennifer Jason Leigh and it was mesmerizing—Audible cast this book perfectly, Leigh was brilliant and her delivery was flawless and was exactly what the character embodied. I also read and thoroughly enjoyed White Oleander when it was the Oprah's Book Club selection. Fitch is a powerful and poignant writer and has such purpose and thought throughout her novels.
This was quite the undertaking at 816 pages and it took several attempts to not only get into it, but to stick with it. Hear me out... Fitch did an extraordinary job in her research and retelling of the Russian Revolution but at times this was the only redemption. I struggled with the main character, she was completely void of depth and was surprisingly underdeveloped for such an intricate story.
The last almost quarter of the book was completely unnecessary—I'm not even going to try to understand why it was included, it should have been edited out. Especially because this is apparently volume one of two.
The beginning was the best part, and then...it's like Fitch had to include every single detail and every bit of research and it's not necessary. Is she looking for validation for her years of work? The story then just becomes a linear piece of writing which begs the question, should this have not been a historical fiction book but rather an actual book on the Russian Revolution? I think so.