Friday, 8 April 2016

Despite the falling snow - Shamim Sarif

The enthralling narrative of Shamim Sarif's powerful second novel moves between present day Boston and 1950s Moscow. After an early career amongst the political elite of Cold War Russia, Alexander Ivanov has built a successful business in the States. For forty years, he has buried the tragic memories surrounding his charismatic late wife, Katya - or so he believes. For into his life come two women - one who will open up the heart he has protected for so long; another who is determined to uncover what really happened to Katya so long ago. The novel's journey back to the snowbound streets of post-Stalinist Moscow reveals a world of secrets and treachery. 

My thoughts:
It could have been a sad book, but I never felt that sadness, cos you just knew from the start. Fine I admit, I had some foolish notions of hope. But you need hope!

The book takes place in Boston in -98 and in 50s Soviet. Where you can understand life is crap. In Soviet Alexander and Katya meet. Alexander works for the government, and that means a better place to live, in the city, and other perks. Yes communism sure was good for everyone, not! Katya is a spy and I sure got why. Her parents were killed by the regime. She wanted to fight back (and then she fell in love with the man she spied on.) In a way I should be angry at her, but she loved him, and from early on. But yes she put both in danger.

Then we have Boston. Alexander has a successful catering business- But he is alone. What happened to Katya? In this story his niece and an author tries to solve the puzzle.

I did like the Soviet parts the most, because those had an air of danger and despair. Because in Soviet Russia bread eats you. Ok that makes no sense, I forgot how to do those. Soviet was not a good place to live in. Your neighbor would sell you out for a piece of bread. Anyone would stab you in the back. And she sure lived on the edge. I also liked how he started to see the cracks in the system.

While the Boston parts were just sad, because she was not there!

Conclusion:
It was a fast read and I read on to see what would happen. It was interesting and not sad, but a bit melancholic because .... 

Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 7th 2016 by Metro books (first published January 1st 2003)
Fiction
For review


38 comments:

  1. This sounds like one I would enjoy.
    Happy weekend!

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  2. Sounds like a little bit of a downer since something obviously happens to Katya!

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    1. Obviously, not a spoiler either since it begins with the latter part

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  3. Love the Soviet setting, and you have me curious. I think I might need truffles for the sad bits.

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  4. Hmmm... this is a no thanks for me.

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    1. It's a movie too ;) But from the trailer it was really Soviet focused

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  5. Oooo this sounds good. Onto the TBR pile.

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  6. Oh I use to love Russian spy novels. Glad you liked it!

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    Replies
    1. I have not read many, Soviet and Finland, eeeh, we do not like each other

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  7. This is such a gorgeous title and cover and while I'm not sure it's quite for me, you've got me curious for sure!

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  8. Awww I think I'd get bummed out while reading the sad bits.

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    Replies
    1. It is not sad, trust me, you know it from the start, therefore never sad

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  9. Well, as long as I'm not balling my eyes out, I'm okay with sad. :) Plus, I will now beware of bread in Soviet Russia. ;) LOL

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  10. This does sound very interesting. Adding this to my list!

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  11. This does sound sad to me. Usually when you skip ahead decades and one of the people aren't around, it's usually not good D:

    Did you end up with the spark of hope you wanted?

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. We do know from page 1 that Katya is not with him. So my hope was that she was still there, or met someone else. Silly hope. That would not have been her

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  12. Hmm sounds like a good book really, reminds me a bit of Paullina Simons books set in Russia.

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    1. Different times and rulers though

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  13. Alexander Ivanov, such a common name...

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  14. After reading The Lost Wife, the flips between past and present of Soviet Union and America have me interested. I want to know what happen to Katya. :)

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  15. Does sound interesting being set in Soviet Russia. It is a place I would never want to live. I actually know someone who lived during there during that time. She doesn't talk much about it. I don't know that she has great memories.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

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    1. I would not have had great memories if I had lived there. It sounds utterly horrible. Not to mention that my country lived on eggshells for decades for just being near it

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  16. I was going to say that this book sounded sad, but I'm happy to hear that it had a little more upbeat angle to it. That cover is really lovely!

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    1. Well I would not exactly call it upbeat, more like melancholic

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  17. It's new to me but sounds very interesting. Wouldn't have wanted to live there...

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    Replies
    1. I am glad we did not become a part of them

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  18. Oh I don't know I could make it through without crying. lol

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