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Independence Square

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A young woman scrambles up the icy hill above Independence Square in Kiev, desperate to avert the bloody crackdown that threatens the protesters below. The outcome of a revolution, and her brother’s safety, depend on her. And though neither of them realize it, so does the fate of the man she is frantic to see.

Over a decade later, Simon Davey, a disgraced diplomat, follows
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by Pegasus Books
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AD Miller writes a smart literary political novel that looks at the events that occurred in Kiev and the Ukraine, and the Orange Revolution. It is densely written and it helps if you are familiar with the recent history, the characters involved, such as Victor Yushenko, Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko, a stolen election and the protests at Independence Square, a theatre stage set of roses vs guns, with the potential for horrifying bloodshed. Simon Davey is a senior diplomat at the British ...more
Ron Charles
In late January during his profane rant against NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly snarled, “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?”

That apathy was a great asset during President Trump’s impeachment trial, but it’s a fundamental challenge for A.D. Miller’s new novel about Ukraine. Can Americans be made to care about this European country teetering between freedom and tyranny?

The story Miller tells in “Independence Square” is a double helix of espionage and
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Independence Square is the new literary political thriller from one of my favourite authors — the Booker-shortlisted A. D. Miller. The year is 2004 and The Orange Revolution has begun in post-Soviet Ukraine. Independence Square in Kyiv becomes the centre of the political protests which have erupted due to the pre-election poisoning of presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, a hallmark of Russian state intervention to eliminate political opponents, whilst Ukraine is in turmoil with citizens ...more
Some years back I had enjoyed A.D. Miller’s first novel, the Booker-Prize-shortlisted Snowdrops. Set in Russia after the fall of Communism, it charted the moral downfall of a young English lawyer. I had been particularly impressed by the beguiling mixture of grit and poetry, its marriage of hardboiled crime and nostalgic coming-of-age fiction.

Independence Square has certain elements in common with Miller’s debut, although it is closer in spirit to spy fiction than to crime. Its protagonist is
AD Miller was longlisted for the Booker Prize for Snowdrops – a brilliant story about a young British man who became enmeshed in intrigue in Russia and then walked away unscathed, seemingly oblivious to the damage he has caused to those he left behind.

In Independence Square, it’s the other way around. Simon Davey is a middle ranking diplomat – deputy head of mission in the Ukraine – caught up in events in late 2004 in the aftermath of a stolen presidential election. The orange revolution may
Katherine Younkin
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are two settings in this book that are years and worlds apart. First is the 2004 Orange Revolution in Kiev, Ukraine from the perspective of a UK diplomat assigned to the British Embassy. The second is the same person’s bleak life in London in 2010. The diplomat, Simon, was more than just a witness to Ukrainian attempts to hold elections without Russian influence.

In 2004 Simon developed a relationship with a local Ukrainian girl, Olesya whose brother was at the forefront of protests against
Roman Clodia
"Everything is for sale"

Set against the recent history of Ukraine, this is a timely and contemporary novel that looks at the relationships between political power and personal integrity. Concerned especially with the manipulation of supposedly democratic elections, a topic which couldn't be more headline-worthy. But this makes the politics personal.

Miller isn't a particularly stylish writer, his prose is workmanlike, and the political intelligence gets rather submerged beneath the 'then' and
Melanie Garrett
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever since reading A.D. Miller's Booker-nominated SNOWDROPS a few years ago, the main question I have had in mind is, when. As in when am I going to get my reading mitts on his next novel?

Like so many others have said about SNOWDROPS, Mr Miller's prose is every bit as compelling as the dilemmas it evoked. His follow up, THE FAITHFUL COUPLE, was no exception at the level of the sentence but, for my tastes, it delivered even more in terms of the characters' dilemmas, giving us insights at the
Miss R
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Random House UK and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Having read A.D.Miller's majestic, Booker Prize nominated, 'Snowdrops', I was eager to get my hands on 'Independent Square'. Well, Miller has done it again. This is quite the cerebral political thriller that manages to combine the best of Robert Harris' visionary political world-building with the pathos of a Phillip Kerr novel. Set amongst the turbulence of the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, Miller has
Jill Westerman
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The novel opens in the Ukraine in 2004, newly independent from the Soviet Union, there is now a movement for democracy. Simon is a British diplomat, who is moving towards becoming an ambassador. He becomes involved in liaising with some of the demonstrators and in particular a young woman, Olesya. The narrative alternates between 2004 and 2017 when Simon is living a very different life, alone in London eking out an existence driving cabs.

The story of how the events in 2004 led to this is slowly
Jan 18, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-authors
I had high expectations for this novel based on my enjoyment of reading Miller's earlier novel Snowdrops.
Sadly so far it is failing to live up to those expectations to the extent that I'm not sure I can finish reading it. I'm about a third of the way in.

The early chapters alternate between events in 2004 in the centre of Kiev with a huge protest calling for the re-run of an election which is believed to have been rigged and London in 2014. We're given to understand from the London chapters
Patricia Moren
This story was rather a damp squib. I expected tension, fast paced and exciting but it was none of these. Very everyday and factual. Very confusing continually going backwards and forwards with a very abrupt conclusion. Maybe I missed something but this is just my view.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this author's first novel, Snowdrops, so I was really looking forward to reading this book. I did enjoy Independence Square but did not find it to be as absorbing or compelling as Snowdrops.

Having said that, this is essentially a very well written work of literary fiction and it deserves success and a wide readership. Its subject matter is centred on the Ukraine's Orange Revolution of the early 2000's. A senior British diplomat, Simon, in Kiev becomes involved with a young
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to read this because I had enjoyed 'Snowdrops' a few years ago. 'Independence Square' is a different read - I found it very difficult to keep a track on what was going on. The split timeframe was too disjointed and left me wondering where the plot was going. The action is snail paced - there is an uprising and then it dissipates, in the meantime the main character gets stitched up by someone. I really did not have much sympathy for the character, it appears that he was falsely accused ...more
Katrina Evans
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall this was a decent thriller. I enjoyed the first 60% or so more than the last 40 %.

I thought the first half of the book was really good, it had urgency and sense of danger and left the reader scrambling to understand who was who and what was what.

I enjoyed the setting, I think that there are a whole bunch of stories to come from this bit of history.

The second half of the book was a little too much "middle aged man having a crisis" for my personal taste.

I guessed / worked out the
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Snowdrops and was looking forward to reading this book. Unfortunately, although it was well written, it didn't engage my attention and I found myself losing interest in the characters and the plot. I felt this was a shame as the events portrayed are of historical significance and I was hoping to understand them better.
Thank you to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.
Allyn Nichols
It;s a shame to say that whilst i had high hopes for this title it didn't meet them. I do understand that the version i read was ARC ( pre-release ) and errors are not uncommon but the story itself could have been so much more in my opinion.
Even if I think it's well written the story failed to keep my attention and it fell flat.
Not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Allyn Nichols
Great story from the outset. The version I have read was ARC so may not reflect the final release. This particular version needed some tidying up but I'm sure the retail release will have solved this issue.
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A. D. Miller studied literature at Cambridge and Princeton. His first novel, Snowdrops – a study in moral degradation set in modern Russia – was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the James Tait Black Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Awards, the CWA Gold Dagger and the Galaxy National Book Awards, and was longlisted for the IMPAC award. It has been translated into twenty-five languages. His ...more