This is a fascinating book! The author was a college student from England who was in college in Voronezh during the tumultuous year which saw the break up of the USSR. Life there was changing daily and 70 years of anger and repression boiled up and was expressed in a chaotic existence. She showed what was happening in the lives of families and students who lived in a hostel/apartment as they tried to cope with the enormous changes in their lives.
The book is filled with raw emotion and pain. I felt very discouraged when I was reading it, but it was very compelling. It is well written and the author's style draws you in until you feel the despair of the people who are struggling as if they were drowning. At times, I felt overwhelmed with the obstacles with which these people are dealing.