There is a lot of WWII fiction out there, it was an immense moment in history and every story deserves to be heard. The author starts with a note telling us why she was motivated to tell this story, the fact that the Eastern European front does not get as much attention as stories of the Jewish survivors or the Western world. Leningrad was under siege from . To me this read like a modern day Masada, so many innocent people not interested in anything but living their lives but they were completely cut off from a way to save themselves. There is much of the horrors of the war we have come to know but we get a bit of a different angle on the government’s role in Russian involvement and how dispensable it viewed its citizens (gee, sounds familiar…).
Sonya is a musician living with her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter when the Germans begin pressing towards Russia. Her son is arrested after an accusation against him and her daughter-in-law joins an initiative to ingratiate herself with the Party. Sonya and her granddaughter are left to survive by any means necessary. We see the struggles against starvation, bitter cold, the delicate balance to stay on the right side of the government and trying to maintain their hearts in the face of the worst of humanity.
There are some utterly heartbreaking moments in this one. However there are also such moments of strength, resilience and love. This one is so well researched but also well written.
Thanks to Booksparks for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.
Happy Veterans Day to all who served!