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Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Patriots by Sana Krasikov

Setting: U.S., Russia, Siberia
Genre: Historic Fiction
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Release Date: January 24, 2017

The Patriots: A Novel begins with a young boy seeing his mother again for the first time in years after her release from a work camp. Rather than go with a stranger, as he fears, the orphanage where he's been staying asks to keep him. The story then jumps back in time to the decision Florence Fein makes leaving her family in Ohio and emigrating to the Soviet Union. The journey moves back and forth between Julian's experiences with his mother and Florence's experiences in the Soviet Union during Stalin's reign.

Some of the details are hard to take emotionally. It's simply so hard to imagine, yet I know it's true as I've read history books, seen movies and documentaries, and know war stories relatives shared. That doesn't make it any easier while reading this piece of fiction.

Sana Krasikov's The Patriots is a work of intricate, gorgeous writing. So highly detailed, it was easy to imagine yourself right there in the situations Florence and her son, Julian, experienced. I also, at times, struggled to keep up with the time/person in charge of the narrative. I definitely found myself enjoying Florence's story more than Julian's and often found myself walking away because I had to backtrack to find out whose perspective was in place again.

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