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It’s great to find a self-published title that has some real meat to it; I enjoyed this book, and having had a lifelong fascination with Russian history this portrayed an aspect of it that I had never really considered before. Year of Night is an intriguing story told by young Nadia, who is swept from revolutionary Russia to the comparative safety of Paris by her mysterious Uncle Igor. As she grows up in a community of Russian émigrés, she starts to question Igor’s motives, and finds herself caught in a mesh of conflicting ideologies. I found Nadia’s narration compelling and startling in its omissions; a sense of dislocation, both of place and of mind, permeates her tale and adds a genuine poignancy. Well-researched and with memorable scenes which capture the lives of the impoverished exiles, this is a good read for fans of historical fiction. Beswick succeeds in painting a very real picture of a community in turmoil, and how the shadows of the Bolshevik regime insinuate themselves beyond the physical borders of Russia. My only criticisms would be the rather dull cover and the title, which is somewhat misleading as events in the story unfold over several years; but beyond this it is well-written and a thoughtful, rewarding novel, with a sympathetic heroine.

Matador, 2013, ISBN 9781780885513 – Available from http://www.troubador.co.uk/book_info.asp?bookid=2168

A copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review

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