Michele's Reviews > Snowdrops

Snowdrops by A.D. Miller
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Sep 28, 11

bookshelves: fiction, contemporary-fiction, russia
Read in September, 2011

Snowdrops has been short-listed for the Booker Prize this year so I was fairly anxious to read it. Set in Moscow during the post-communist hey-day of Russia, the story tells the first person account of a British ex-pat lawyer who finds himself unwittingly embroiled in with Russian violence and deceit both in his professional and personal life.

There's plenty here to keep this plot moving right along and the book reads fairly fast. Miller is exceptional at painting a setting - you feel as if you really are in Moscow while reading the novel. More important is Miller's examination of the actions we are capable, given the right circumstances. Your hero in this book is no hero. He's just an average, ordinary guy who allows himself to be led down the wrong paths for selfish reasons and justifies his actions every step of the way. At times his choices (or lack of a moral compass) becomes frustrating for the reader, but the novel begs the question: are you quite certain you wouldn't do the same?

It's difficult to underestimate the importance of setting in this novel. There is no doubt that our protagonist would never have acted this way had he been safely ensconced at home in Britain where there are lines (both personal and professional) that one simply does not cross. But Moscow at this time and this place play a crucial role....it's almost as if the city is a character in and of itself.

Very impressive debut effort that leaves the reader questioning how much the safety of our environment dictates our actions.
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Reading Progress

09/25/2011 page 50
17.0% "My first Booker short-list book this year."
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