Melissa's Reviews > Stalin's Children: Three Generations of Love and War

Stalin's Children by Owen Matthews
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Feb 19, 10

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Owen Matthews is a wonderful storyteller. Really magnificent prose. He does a good job of painting the various shades of Russia, depending on which decade/social class/ethnicity you happen to belong to. I think this effort deserves praise since Russia in the 1930s was vastly different from Russia in the 1990s, not to mention the years between them. Matthews captures this change, and shows the heart of Russia with insight and intelligence, all while portraying the resilience and instinct for survival that Russians have garnered through their experiences.

His family certainly has impressive stories, but I couldn't shake the feeling of sadness I felt while reading, even when reading of undying faith, fortitude, and determination. This novel seemed to be just as much about loneliness and loss as it was about courage- which is not a bad thing. I just thought the tone was a little heavy. Matthews tells an extraordinary story, and then seems to wonder if it was worth it. I finished the novel glad that I had read it, and equally glad that it was over.
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