Monday, January 12, 2009

Stalin's Children by Owen Matthews Review

Stalin's Children, Three Generations of Love, War, and Survival, is a story of three generations and their experiences under the various incarnations of Russian government.

The opening chapters are rather sad but expected. The author did a wonderful job of explaining the past through photographs, excerpts of correspondence, and generational storytelling passed down from his grandmother and mother. The most central story of this book is author Owen Matthews' mother being separated from her parents at a very young age and raised in orphanages.

Growing up without a mother or father was so pivotal in shaping his mothers outlook on life and the direction her life took. Probably eighty percent or better of this book is about his mother and father, Mila and Mervyn, in one way or another.

Building on top of this and other tragedies in this book, this book is also a story of love lost and love gained, and the family ties that defy odds. Owen Matthews recounts his father Mervyn's early years working in academia and as a foreign exchange student in Russia. Mervyn of course falls in love, is seduced by the KGB, is deported from the country, sneaks back into the country, and fights with every ounce of his soul to be with his beloved fiancée, Mila.

Russophiles will love this families story. Despite the fact that this is a non-fiction book, it reads as nicely as a novel.


mithun said...

Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

Coolroom Shelving

Post a Comment