I love the works of Penelope Fitzgerald and have read a good many them. This one came as a surprise to me though, when it was selected as a Booker nominee – I don’t know why I hadn’t read it before.
I suspect this historical fiction set in March, 1913 Moscow and environs was painstakingly researched, but Fitzgerald always keeps it natural focusing on the plot and character development first snd foremost. That said, the setting, both time and place, is an integral part of the story, affecting the characters profoundly. I think it could happen nowhere else.
Moscow at this time was a place of serious unrest, student protests and labor strikes abounded, but things had quieted down some from the rebellion of 1905 and World War I had not yet started. It was hoped that a revolution could be avoided. >>>>MORE>>>>