Leningrad, September 1941. German tanks surround the city, imprisoning those who live there. The besieged people of Leningrad face shells, starvation, and the Russian winter....
Interweaving two love affairs in two generations, The Siege draws us deep into the Levin's family struggle to stay alive during this terrible winter. It is a story about war and the wounds it inflicts on people's lives. It is also a lyrical and deeply moving celebration of love, life, and survival.
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It's bad when you wish the kid would die
Rounded and more fully developed characters are absent. The heroine, Anna, remains impossibly good and patient and brave. Her little brother remains bratty and spoilt and whiney. They are in Leningrad in 1941 -- some psychological trajectory would have been so much more interesting to counterbalance the breakdown of their bodies.
No. I have read a few non-fiction accounts of the Leningrad siege and find it fascinating. I have also read the author's The Betrayal, which I enjoyed, hence my choice of The Siege.
Marina, the actress who is persona non grata in Stalinist Russia. She's the most interesting because she has most shade and light, and Ms Bond reads her beautifully.
As a portrayal of Leningrad as a city and in that particular era it is sensitive and does not revel in the brutality.
I can see the writer turning the non-fiction books on this subject into fiction, ticking off the boxes as she references the Kirov works, inhabitants eating wallpaper paste, leather and dandelion leaves, artists sketching so there is a record of what happened. It comes across as contrived because the writer herself lacks gravitas.
- margaret king