Leningrad in 1952: a city recovering from war, where Andrei, a young doctor and Anna, a school teacher, are forging a life together. Summers at the dacha, preparations for the hospital ball, work and the care of 16-year-old Kolya fill their minds. They try hard to avoid coming to the attention of the authorities, but even so their happiness is precarious. Stalin is still in power, and the Ministry for State Security has new targets in its sights. When Andrei has to treat the seriously ill child of a senior secret police officer he finds himself and his family caught in an impossible game - for in a land ruled by whispers and watchfulness, betrayal can come from those closest to you.
"An absorbing and thoughtful tale." (
"Superbly well paced." ( Telegraph)
"Dunmore's writing... is sensuous, physical and almost synaesthetic." ( Independent)
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miserable reminder of Stalin's Russia
Moving and insightful
- Learning is fun!