I adored the way Golitsyn mixes the descriptions of everyday life in Russia after the Revolution with the most momentous events.
He is just eight when the Revolution happens and his child-eye view is remarkable. As he grows you move forward as if in an epic novel. The book is much like War and Peace – an extraordinary read. A chilling description of the twentieth century that can’t be buried in the past.
This book would not have been published in Russia today and the fact that an English translation has appeared is crucial as Putin’s Russia whitewashes Stalin’s gulag.