Kate Vane's Reviews > Love Songs of the Revolution

Love Songs of the Revolution by Bronwyn Mauldin
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it was amazing

I received a free advance reader copy of Love Songs of the Revolution from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

At the beginning of Love Songs of the Revolution, the narrator, Martynas Kudirka, warns us not to expect a neat, American-style resolution to his story. The world he is writing about was not like that. Lithuania, he says, has always been occupied, its people forced into accommodations. In 1989, despite glasnost and perestroika, and the nationalist movement in Lithuania, he did not believe anything would change.

Martynas is an unlikely hero for a thriller. He is neither an ambitious agent nor a passionately committed dissident. He is a self-described second-rate artist who has found a comfortable niche in the Soviet regime. He paints what he’s told, is a member of the Party, and in exchange he has a relatively decent apartment and time to slope off and have affairs during office hours. His marriage to a talented physicist is, it seems, similarly accommodating.

All this changes when Martynas’ wife is murdered. The authorities are reluctant to investigate. He learns that his wife had secrets. He feels compelled to search for the truth. He becomes embroiled with revolutionaries, criminals and spies. All this against the backdrop of Vilnius, a city alive with political and cultural change, a city he writes about with all the passion of the exile.

Like him, we’re not quite sure who’s good and who’s bad, who he should trust and who he should fear, just why he’s doing what he’s doing, but the narration is so stylish and the tempo so compelling that we keep reading, hoping it will all make sense in the end. And then –

At first I was frustrated by the end. I, after all, wanted the neat resolution. What did the author mean? Was that even the right question? I went back over the story. Everything I’d read took on new significance. Or perhaps was stripped of significance.

Several days on, I was still turning it over in my mind. And then I thought - if a book stays with you, if it makes you think, doesn't that make it a great book?
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 23, 2014 – Shelved

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