23 February 2011

The Red Scarf.

Author: Kate Furnivall
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Source: Personal Copy.
Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Davinsky Labor Camp, Siberia, 1933: Only two things in this wretched place keep Sofia from giving up hope: the prospect of freedom, and the stories told by her friend and fellow prisoner Anna, of a charmed childhood in Petrograd, and her fervent girlhood love for a passionate revolutionary named Vasily.
After a perilous escape, Sofia endures months of desolation and hardship. But, clinging to a promise she made to Anna, she subsists on the belief that someday she will track down Vasily. In a remote village, she’s nursed back to health by a Gypsy family, and there she finds more than refuge—she also finds Mikhail Pashin, who, her heart tells her, is Vasily in disguise. He’s everything she has ever wanted—but he belongs to Anna.
After coming this far, Sofia is tantalizingly close to freedom, family—even a future. All that stands in her way is the secret past that could endanger everything she has come to hold dear...

My Review:
I don't know what it is about Kate Furnivall's novels that makes me keep picking them up, I'm usually a bit disappointed with them, and this one was no exception - but I digress. I thought this sounded like a great read, and I guess it could be for the right person, but not for me. It was just okay for me. Once again I liked the cover and design of the chapter pages, but...there was just too much...story. I do love a long engrossing read, but there's always something, something in her books that makes me say to myself, now that is just unbelievable. Even more (possibly) unbelievable, is that I actually intend to read more of her books. For one (important) reason, she is able to make me care about the characters, no matter how unsatisfying their journey is or how questionable their actions may be at one (or more) point in the story. I can't help but feel relieved or scared or happy for them at the appropriate moments.
I don't know if it was the pace of my reading or the pace of the storytelling, but I found it to be a little slow for my tastes. Too many little things that were happening and not enough of what I found to be more important for the story to move along at a better pace. But, I will admit that all of that writing was lovely. Transportable. Even though I wouldn't ever want to visit Stalin's Russia.
I don't even know how anyone could or did really. Not even these fictional characters. Working and working and having to watch their backs and their neighbors and finding the strength to do it day after day. I loved the strength that Sofia had, without it I don't think she could have done what she did, or even thought of doing it. Determination and hope were things that I think she had through the entire book. And sometimes, on her journey, they seemed like they were all she had with her. Just to keep herself going, and to suceed at what she thought was right, for the one person she held dear in the hard world they both lived in.

No comments: