The Patriots by Sana Krasikov
What’s it about?
This multigenerational story begins in Russia in 1956. The novel switches between narrators and time periods- covering the 1930’s through 2008. Florence Fein is at the heart of the story. She leaves Brooklyn College in the 1930’s and takes a boat to Russia- idealistically determined to seek a better life than she feels the American capitalist system can give her. She quickly becomes trapped in a country that is not at all what she had hoped for. Told through Florence, her son Julian, and her grandson Lenny- we learn about the Cold War from several interesting perspectives.
What did it make me think about?
This work of historical fiction shed light on life inside early communist Russia. It is truly mind boggling that the ideal life people were seeking with communism is so far from what the system gave them. I also had never given a thought to how our own government viewed those Americans left in Russia.
Should I read it?
This is another multi-generational saga about life under a Communist regime. It is a good book- but it is also a big book. This novel could have used a little more editing… it is still a good read though.
“ ‘They abandoned us years ago. The American embassy is as sealed as a fortress. Nobody goes in or out except by automobile. The guards won’t let you in even if you’re American born. Why is it that none of the embassy workers have ever made any contact with the likes of us?’ ‘That’s right, she said. We’re trash to them Absconders. Traitors. We left and good riddance.’ ”
If you like this try-
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
A Gentlemen in Moscow by Amor Towles
The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
The Symapthizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!