I just finished my Book Club book for this month. Who cares, you may say? Well, this one (like many) had an impact. While this book – A Gentleman in Moscow – and it’s overarching story is not a rail against Communism, it does not cast life behind the Iron Curtain in a good light.
I know many people don’t have time to read anymore, let alone a 474 (give or take) page book, a Russian historical fiction novel that is written in the likes of several other long Russian novels I was unable to finish. (Sorry Anna Karenina I tried three times and I nothing of your story comes to mind even still.)
It was full of detail, yet the book wasn’t a rage against an alternative form of government rule. It was subtle, it was nuanced, it was clever in it’s communication to the reader of the changes that took place over the course of 40 plus years in the heart of the country.
It was not a book of history, fact in point, I already told you it was historical fiction…but it does a good job of giving you the belief that there was and maybe there is, perhaps still, hope.
There is hope, even in:
- a place where there is a history that is not something I want to study in great detail;
- a place where there was a lack of personal, religious, political and community freedoms;
- a place where I know people (close enough to call family and friends) who left in search of a greater life; and,
- a place, that as much as it isn’t what I’d want for me – others still love and hold dear.
This book is not a rail against the loss of freedom, art, ability to travel as you wish – but instead the story of one man’s life and the lives of those around him who changed him forever. A story, also, of the people whose lives he changed, forever. A story of the view he had of America and how happy I am, today and always, to be here and have the liberty to live as I wish. A place where I can choose to be the person I want to be.
~ Dawn aka Hat Girl