A novel that requires careful reading. The format of different points of view and times, from the 1930’s to 2008.
While Florence’s story is told in the third person, Julian narrates his own story. I personally would have rather had them both tell their own stories, but as a whole, it is a good look at a time in our history that a lot of people would rather not look at or admit to.
Florence is a very smart young lady and is disillusioned with the U.S. and ends up emigrating to the Soviet Union which is under Stalin’s rule. I think history is clear on his views on educated women and Florence finds out first hand.
Julian, finally gets out of the country and takes the opposite route of his mother and comes to the U.S.
While he lives and works in the U.S., he travels frequently to Russia, where his son is living.
When Julian finds out that the old KGB records are being released to the families of those persecuted or killed, he applies for the release of his mother’s records and tries to understand what was happening when he was a child and all he knew was that people were not nice to him and it had something to do with his Mother.
A brutal, but honest work of historical fiction, that rings very true and is on a topic that most people don’t even know about or understand.
Thank you Netgalley and Random House for the great read!