|About the Book|
This is a memoir written by a woman from Russian two years younger than I am. It was interesting to read about her life and activities under Communism that would have been happening at the same time I was growing up in the United States. A lot of her life was fairly normal but there was always a threat hanging over their heads of being called an “enemy of the state”. There was a lot of “not being able to fight the system”, like her grandmother not receiving a war widow’s pension because her husband was missing and not declared legally dead. Disillusionment started as she grew up and discovered not everyone was equal, some people had “blat” (connections). She still believed in her country, to the point of joining the Communist party and thought that if you worked hard and were honest everything would be okay. After perestroika, she tried to build a business only to be overcome by racketeers wanting payoffs for everything from fire protection to ecology restrictions. She eventually left Russian and settled in South Africa after an assassination’s mistaken attempt to kill her husband left her father-in-law murdered instead.