Spring in Siberia
Can a land of ice be melted by the fires burning in one boy's heart?
A debut novel by Artem Mozgovoy
1985. Russia. As the Soviet Union disintegrates and Western capitalism spreads its grip across their land, the Morozov family finds itself consigned to the remote, icy wastes of Siberia. It is here that their only child, Alexey, is born.
A sweet and gentle schoolboy, Alexey discovers that reciting poetry learnt by heart calms his fears. That winter gales can be battled with self-invented games, and solace found through his grandmother’s rituals and potions.
But when Alexey’s classmate, the son of KGB agents, confesses his love, the desire of two boys to be together clashes violently with the mad world around them.
Exploring the healing power of literature, the magic of first love, and the ways our family and homeland can save (or shatter) us, Spring in Siberia is a coming-of-age novel that, in the darkest of times, glows with hope and the yearning for freedom to be oneself – completely.
I read Spring in Siberia and was very very impressed. It was touching and well written, genuinely compelling and convincing.
A capacious work of vision, courage, and thoroughness, Spring in Siberia upholds the original promise of the novel: which is to contain all, protect nothing, and to shift perpetually in definition and scope. A work of earnest, grounded, and ultimately hopeful testimony of selfhood at the brink.
In Spring in Siberia we glimpse a better, more enlightened, more cultivated Russia which, with all its cruelty and injustice, suggests that the country has a great legacy it may someday inherit.