Russia

While I love living here in BC — where winter means sometimes having to zip your coat all the way up — there’s a part of me that will always miss Russia.  Every autumn without fail, as soon as there’s a morning cool enough to make getting out of bed more challenging, I long for the streets of Moscow.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this longing creeps into my reading habits, suffusing them with long-unsolved mysteries, grand duchesses who met tragic ends, and houses that walk on chicken legs.  If you love Russia too, you might want to read these:

The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming

Fleming’s The Family Romanov is a multiple award-winning work of narrative non-fiction.  It guides the reader through the lives of the hopelessly out-of-touch Romanovs, juxtaposing their extravagant reality with the much harsher daily life of the everyday poor.

Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar

In 1959 a group of experienced hikers set off from modern day Ekaterinburg for a ski-hike in the Ural mountains.  All nine died.  Some were found outside, far from their tent, without shoes.  Others had high levels of radiation on their clothing.  Yet another was missing her tongue.  What killed the Dyatlov hikers?

Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire

I am a huge fan of Russian folklore influenced fantasy, and Maguire’s novel does not disappoint.  Elena is a poor village girl.  Ekaterina is a wealthy girl, about Elena’s age, who is part of the nobility.  When Ekaterina’s train pulls into Elena’s village, Elena soon finds herself en route to St. Petersburg, while Ekaterina is left behind.  Then Baba Yaga enters the picture.

I find myself returning time and again to works set in Russia?  What country has captured your imagination?

–Patricia

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