From the acclaimed author of Purge ( a stirring and humane work of art The New Republic ) comes a riveting, chillingly relevant new novel of occupation, resistance, and collaboration in Eastern Europe.
1941: In Communist-ruled, war-ravaged Estonia, two men are fleeing from the Red Army Roland, a fiercely principled freedom fighter, and his slippery cousin Edgar.
From the acclaimed author of Purge ( a stirring and humane work of art The New Republic) comes a riveting, chillingly relevant new novel of occupation, resistance, and collaboration in Eastern Europe.
1941: In Communist-ruled, war-ravaged Estonia, two men are fleeing from the Red Army Roland, a fiercely principled freedom fighter, and his slippery cousin Edgar. When the Germans arrive, Roland goes into hiding; Edgar abandons his unhappy wife, Juudit, and takes on a new identity as a loyal supporter of the Nazi regime . . . 1963: Estonia is again under Communist control, independence even further out of reach behind the Iron Curtain. Edgar is now a Soviet apparatchik, desperate to hide the secrets of his past life and stay close to those in power. But his fate remains entangled with Roland s, and with Juudit, who may hold the key to uncovering the truth . . .
Great acts of deception and heroism collide in this masterful story of surveillance, passion, and betrayal, as Sofi Oksanen brings to life the frailty and the resilience of humanity under the shadow of tyranny.
- ISBN-13: 9780385350174
- ISBN-10: 0385350171
- Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
- Publish Date: February 2015
- Page Count: 320
- Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-01-19
- Reviewer: Staff
During and after the Second World War, the boundaries and power structures of Europe changed dramatically. In this fourth novel, Oksanen, who has won the Swedish Academy Nordic Prize and Budapest Grand Prize, traces those changes through the lives of one Estonian family. Focusing mostly on Roland's passion for a free Estonia, Juudith's quest to be cherished, and Edgar's machinations, Oksanen's characters must navigate the ever-changing political landscape that means danger for everyone, especially those who, like Edgar, lust for power and recognition. The fragmented narrative, adeptly translated by Rogers, switches between the Third Reich and the height of Soviet power, using these two time periods to make ideal use of dramatic irony, to render understandable collusion with the enemy as well as portray its consequences, and to evoke sympathy for a man whose ambition leads him to commit terrible atrocities. Oksanen manages to relate these stories without horror or judgment, and reminds the reader that, whatever else people in wartime may do, they are human creatures, and not the one-dimensional monsters that history makes them seem to be. Agent: Salomonsson Agency. (Feb.)