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The Patriots

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,285 ratings  ·  408 reviews
A sweeping multigenerational debut novel about idealism, betrayal, and family secrets that takes us from Brooklyn in the 1930s to Soviet Russia to post-Cold War America

When the Great Depression hits, Florence Fein leaves Brooklyn College for what appears to be a plum job in Moscow—and the promise of love and independence. But once in Russia, she quickly becomes entangled i
Hardcover, 538 pages
Published January 24th 2017 by Spiegel & Grau
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Sana Krasikov Not at all. The Florence storyline has maybe four main characters and is told in intimate scenes between them. The other storyline involves a father a…moreNot at all. The Florence storyline has maybe four main characters and is told in intimate scenes between them. The other storyline involves a father and a son. There are a number of minor characters who come in and out of the action. But it's no Game of Thrones. (less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,285 ratings  ·  408 reviews

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Always Pouting
Mar 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Another historical fiction that follows a family over generations and tries to incorporate their lives with the political shifts of the period. Florence leaves Brooklyn after the Great Depression to live in Russia and we follow her journey as well as her son's modern day journey back to Russia. There were a lot of good parts in the book and the writing had potential but I just did not enjoy the book. The transitions from one scene to the next were poorly done and Krasikov does not really know ho ...more
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
A great book for those who like historical fiction. Florence leaves America for Russia in 1933. On the steamer heading east, she notices the immigrants heading back home like she was “watching an old Ellis Island film reel flipped by the Depression into reverse: masses of immigrants returning to the ship, being herded backwards through the great human warehouse as Lady Liberty waved them goodbye”.

This is a big book, taking on three generations from Florence through her grandson. The book isn't
Bam cooks the books ;-)
I am currently on a small Russian kick in my reading and enjoying it very much. This is the story of a young, idealistic Jewish woman from Brooklyn named Florence Fein who goes to Russia in the early 1930s to pursue love and the hope for a better life. Reality soon hits her smack in the face in the form of hardship, deprivation, and prejudice but she is determined to stick with it and ignores the pleas of her family to return home. Her fascinating story is told in a third person narrative.

In co
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
The writing itself is worthy of 5 stars, and right off the bat I will say that I won't be a bit surprised if this makes it on the bestseller list. This isn't at all farfetched, considering that it's written with visualizations in mind, perhaps as if it were meant to be a movie or something.

That takes a significant amount of talent, so props to the author for being able to pull it off. With that being said, I do think the book could've been quite a bit shorter. The book is 538 pages, and I found
Christine Zibas
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books

"The point, my friend," Sidney said sharply, "is we're all leashed pretty tightly to the era we're living through. To the tyranny of our own time. Even me. Even you. We're none of us as free as we'd like to think. I'm not saying it as an excuse. But very few of us can push up against the weight of all that probability. And those that do -- who's to say their lives are any better for it?"

The novel goes on to show that Sidney, the brother of the main character, is reflecting on the life of his sis
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a work of multi generational historical fiction. It starts in the United States during the 1930s, in the depths of Depression. Florence is a starry eyed idealist who believes that the Soviet Union is a socialist utopia, while the US is a country of decadent capitalism. She emigrates to the USSR in 1934. She is soon disappointed, but pride prevents her from going back to the US. She believes that she can make the world better by staying in the USSR.
She is forced to become an informer by t
Helene Jeppesen
3.5/5 stars.
This was the really beautiful and troublesome story of Florence, a Brooklyn girl who moves to Moscow in the 1930s because of a man and then ends up trapped in Russia. Meanwhile, her son is trying to find out information about his mother's story in today's world, in 2008, which means that we switch back and forth in time and only get the full picture in the end.
I think this story was important, but I also think it could've been shortened. Some passages were rather dragging which was
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The Patriots by Sana Krasikov follows Florence Fein, a young Jewish American, on her journey to communist Russia in 1930s. Without going into details and giving away too many spoilers, I would mention that Florence is going on a treacherous road of disillusionment. She'd be trapped and gradually broken down by the totalitarian system. Parts of the novel also follow Florence's son and grandson, but the story never deviates from its main theme of individual bondage under the totalitarian rule.

The Patriots is a beautifully inspired epic of Florence Fein from Brooklyn, a career girl of Russian Jewish descent. Her job takes her to Cleveland to assist with a business deal between her American employer and a Russian company. Smitten with one of the Russians, she eventually trails him to the homeland. This begins her long story recounting the years 1932-1934 and up in Russia, turbulent years to put it mildly. She and her Jewish husband come through WWII virtually unscathed, safer there fro ...more
May 02, 2017 added it
Shelves: dnf
Partway through "The Patriots", I came to realize that I was feeling apprehensive. Why? Well, the history is quite familiar, the dramatic effect on the family saga was therefore sadly muted and the constant shift between eras disrupted any small chance of my bonding with the Jewish family featured. A Jew travelling into Stalin's Russia is not going to be a cheerful tale, no matter how idealistic Florence Fein, the novel's main protagonist, might be.

Having recently read Second Hand Time by Svetl
Barbara (The Bibliophage)
The Patriots is historical fiction at its best. The story is told from three perspectives: Florence, her son Julian, and his son Lenny. They each have lived part of their lives in Russia, and part in the U.S. Florence moved to Russia from Brooklyn in the 1930s and got trapped under Stalin and Lenin's regimes. Julian (whose Russian given name is Yulik) was born in Soviet Russia, emigrated to America later, and still works in Russia sometimes. These two characters tell the bulk of the story.

Book Riot Community
Sweeping multigenerational sagas are my jam, and this debut novel rings all my bells. It starts in NYC during the Great Depression, when Florence Fein leaves for a promising job in Moscow. But things are a lot more complicated than they seemed, and Florence ends up staying. Years later, her son Jacob travels to the US, but continues to work in Moscow while investigating his mother’s recently opened KGB file to learn more about her. What he discovers is part of a greater story of distrust and sec ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
“Baba Flora didn’t regret her life. And neither do I. She had a front seat on history.”

I thought my jaw might drop. “Is that what she called it?”

“She always said, ‘The only way to learn who you are is to leave home’."

Rich is characters and history, the reader watches the strange twists and turns of fate for one family. As Florence Fein falls in with left leaning student groups at her city college in Brooklyn in the 1930’s, she is driven to leave her free American middle class life on a cloud of
Martie Nees Record
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
ARC books are given before publication to professional reviewers for free in exchange for an honest review. I missed the publication deadline on “The Patriots,” and did not remember I owned the book until I saw a review of it in the NYT (which I did not read for fear of influencing my own review). I do hope my review, being written after publication, will still assist with this book’s sales, for this is historical fiction at its finest. The story revolves around a Jewish girl, from Brooklyn who ...more
Sherwood Smith

Years ago I used to walk on the beach at low tide every morning with my little daughter and our rescue dog. In spring and in fall, I’d look out over the Pacific, and began to perceive the migrating birds in three patterns: closest to the ground leaped, swooped, and dived the gulls and other sand birds, busy going about daily life as they scavenged the sand and the surf, and squabbled with one another.

Then there were the middle layer birds, out there flying over Catalina Island and the tankers do
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a touching story about a young American woman who travels to Soviet Russia and it not allowed to leave. She meets an American man who is going through the same thing and has a child with him. When both of them are accused of being traitors, they are sent to prison camps and their son is raised in an orphanage.

This story is very sad but the author is able to convey hope in her writing. This book contains a lot of information that is not often spoken about in history classes about the So
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I loved this book! Being somewhat familiar with the very real subject of young Americans (and Europeans) leaving the West to go build a 'bright future" in the USSR in the early 1930's, I find this book well researched and well written. The story of the times depicted in the US, USSR and modern day Russia is told through the sights of several characters Their narratives are braided together skillfully to paint a clear picture without belaboring the described subjects or exhausting the reader. Tha ...more
Jan 18, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No way !!!
Ms Krasikov chose a very complicated subject. A very long period of time to deal with, and she wanted to touch everything in the process of writing this book - Stalin, Putin, cold war, second world war ( just a bit), gulag, spionage, communism, juddaism, petrol, russians, americans, Roosevelt. Such a book is doomed from the start, or you are some sort of the next Tolstoi.
I found it good in the beginning, it got me hooked and wanted to read it. I like the idea of family sagas with hist
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-favorites
I'm really glad I went back and tried this book again. Sometimes, for whatever reason, reading a book on the Kindle doesn't always work for me.

I very nearly gave this a 5 star review. There were sections that were just so brilliantly written and engaging that I couldn't put it down and I felt the absolute terror the main characters experienced as Jews during the Stalin Era. It quite honestly was some of the most chilling, edge of your seat suspense I have read in I can't even remember how long.
A very compelling story about a woman who I think is misguided in believing she can make a difference in Russia not knowing what really is happening there but becomes entangled with the government that she can't leave and realizes Russia is not what she thought it was. This book made me think of some of what is happening in the world today and what could happen in the near future.

I do think this book was way too long and I wanted to read only about Florence. Going back and forth between her stor
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-georgia
I spent most of the final 50 or so pages of this book on a cold winter day in Northern Japan, after a long day at work, trapped in a snowbound train with no movement in sight. Outside of the obvious parallels with the book’s Russian climate, the irritation and at times incandescent rage I felt in my icebound predicament dovetailed nicely with my overall feeling about “The Patriots” and it’s primary character Flora in particular.
Flora was born in the USA but moves to Russia in her early 20’s t
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, arc
The Patriots is a sweeping, multi-generational saga that focuses mainly on two characters. First, American-born Florence Fein travels to Russia in the 1930s. Despite her good (and almost unbelievably naive) intentions, she gets herself in a whole lot of trouble while living there. She's accused of serious betrayals, and though she goes to great lengths to save herself, in the end, she is separated from her son and sent away to a labor camp. The second main character is Florence's Russian-born so ...more
Robbi Leah  Freeman
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
ARC for honest review.
Favorite a Quotes:
1. "it hardly seems fair......Fair is a place where pigs win ribbons, sweetheart"
2."You have a saying in America: Waterboarding is not torture, and a blow job is not sex."
This is the first time I have read about Stalin years in Russia and Americans leaving to find work during the depression. It was interesting history starting in 1930s to 2008. I was appalled by all country's in the earlier part of the book.
This book takes you on a journey with a young
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So good! Highly recommended if you like historical fiction and 20th century Russian history.
Tara Scilluffo
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I want to thank First To Read for an advanced copy of Sana Krasikov for an advanced copy of The Patriots A Novel. This is honestly the first Russian historical fiction book I have ever read. I usually tend to stick to English, Scottish and American historical fiction. It is with a saddened heart that I have to add that with the holidays and all the hussle and bustle I have about 50-75 more pages to read! I am pleading with First to Read to extend my loan! If that is not possible, I will definit ...more
Cian O hAnnrachainn
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Before anyone knew how wretched life would become under communism, several naive American idealists thought that the Marxist philosophy represented a paradise on earth. Author Sana Krasikov takes off from that point and creates a riveting novel in the process.

THE PATRIOTS interweaves the narratives of Florence, a progressive Jewish girl from New York, and that of her adult son after her death. Florence becomes involved in a pro-Russian group during her time at university in the height of the Gre
Kati Berman
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This novel could have easily been a five star book, if it was much much shorter. There was a lot of rambling unnecessary detail that had not much to do with the main story and was very boring. The story takes place in two time frames and narrated differently. Florence, a naive, idealistic teenager leaves her middle class Brooklyn Jewish life for the fairly new Soviet Union in 1930. Her story and what happened to her there, the Stalinist area is one part of the story and narrated in third person. ...more
Brona's Books
Aug 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Did not finish after 53 pgs and reading several reviews on here that had the same problems I did - it was boring, it told rather than showed, an annoying unconvincing protagonist, some lovely phrases & sentences at times but uneven.

Good intentions, interesting premise that simply couldn't maintain my interest. Life's too short to read a book that's not working for you after all!
Olive Fellows (abookolive)
See my review on Booktube! ...more
I don't think I can begin to write a review of enough skill to explain how I felt about The Patriots. It has my mind in a whirlwind, but I shall try.

I've been both fascinated with and mystified by Russia since I first went there at age 16. I don't think you can truly put your finger on what Russia and to be Russian is, but The Patriots explores this the most successfully of any book I've ever read.

There are three main characters. The first is Florence. This is a young woman who left the so-calle
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Play Book Tag: The Patriots - Sana Krasikov - 4 Stars 1 10 Aug 31, 2018 04:03PM  
Play Book Tag: The Patriots by Sana Krasikov - 4 stars 7 16 Aug 13, 2018 05:08PM  
Jewish Book Club: The Patriots 1 15 Mar 02, 2018 03:40PM  

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Sana Krasikov was born in Ukraine and grew up in the former Soviet republic of Georgia before immigrating to New York. She has since lived in Moscow and, more recently, Nairobi.
Her debut collection ONE MORE YEAR went on to be translated into eleven languages and selected for the National Book Foundation's "5 under 35" Award. It won the 2009 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and was a finalis

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