In this vast and gorgeous tapestry of a novel, serf and master, Cossack and tsar, priest and Jew are brought together in a family saga which unrolls through centuries of history to reveal that most impenetrable and mysterious of lands - Russia. Through the life of a little town east of Moscow in the Russian heartland, Edward Rutherfurd creates a ...
In this vast and gorgeous tapestry of a novel, serf and master, Cossack and tsar, priest and Jew are brought together in a family saga which unrolls through centuries of history to reveal that most impenetrable and mysterious of lands - Russia. Through the life of a little town east of Moscow in the Russian heartland, Edward Rutherfurd creates a sweeping family saga from the baffling contradictions of Russia's culture and her peoples - bleak yet exotic, brutal but romantic, land of ritual yet riddled with superstitious fears. From Russia's dawn and the cruel Tatar invasions to Ivan the Terrible and the wild Cossacks, from Peter, Catherine and the days of War and Peace to the drama of the Revolution and the extraordinary events of today - here is Russia's story in a spellbinding novel - history recreated with breathtaking detail and passion.
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About 50 years ago I wrote a biography of my Russian-born Grandma, raised in the area of Kiev. For years now I have been seeking information, either fictional or historical, on the culture and history that reflected the kind of life she led as a young girl. This fictional account, based on historical facts, was just what I had been looking for. The book has 900+ pages but I could hardly put it down. It was as interesting as though the author was painting a word picture on every page. I am now in the process of searching for other books that will fill in so many more areas of interest that picqued my curiousity as I was reading Russka. I would recommend this book to anyone with a keen sense of history. Especially of a country that holds such a diversity of culture and covers so many thousands of miles of a land mass that stretches from the borders of Eastern Europe to the frozen wastelands of Siberia, - each with its own unique personality of land and people.
Publishers Weekly, 1991-08-02 With his second sprawling historical novel, Rutherfurd moves from his hometown of Salisbury, England, the site of the bestselling Sarum , to the rich foreign soil of Russia. Though the structure and style mirror that of his first saga, Rutherfurd's close observation of Russia's religious and ethnic diversity give this epic a distinctive flavor. Focusing on the changing fortunes of the small town of Russka and its controlling families, Rutherfurd moves from the tribes of the steppes in the second century A.D. through Cossacks, Tatars, Tsars, revolution and Stalin to touch on a contemporary Russian emigre community near New York City. He weaves an expansive tapestry of Russian lore with a vivid exploration of the historical influences on the modern Russian psyche. Though thoroughly researched, the novel is diminished by occasional soap-opera twists in the narrative thread and present-day phrasing (``pin money,'' ``red tape,'' ``heads or tails'') used in distracting asides to the reader. Literary Guild selection. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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