yalayla's Reviews > Dreams of My Russian Summers

Dreams of My Russian Summers by Andreï Makine
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Sep 07, 07

really liked it
Read in June, 2007

Autobiographical novel. I wish I could do halves, because this one is really 4 1/2. Not perfect, but as gossimer as the threads the protagonist sees in his earliest memories. I'll say out front that this is not a book for everyone. It follows the protagonist as he moves from childhood to adulthood, learning first the beauty and then the rest of the truth about his family as seen through the eyes of his grandmother. Following his life through adolescence, the author is honest enough to talk sexuality when he saw it--the problem being that he way it EVERYWHERE, almost Nuriev-like. But he does grow up, and the beauty he learns to see through his grandmother's life is ultimately redemptive.

The greatest draw to me about this book is that it is the story of a person caught between two cultures and the battle that ensues to find his own identity somewhere between them. And the descriptions of the Russian steppe. And the otherworldly remembrances of the grandmother. And the crazy box of stones. Yeah. In a world full of books that need to be read, I picked this one back up for a re-read.
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