Most books about the Soviet Union focus on politics, food shortages, or lack of democratic freedoms.
This collection of stories portrays everyday experiences of a young girl growing up in the Soviet Union of the 1970s.
Childhood can be a magical and innocent time, oblivious to political regimes and problems. And that's what these 12 stories strive to convey.
©2012 Julia Gousseva (P)2015 Julia Gousseva
Sit back, close your eyes and travel to a simpler time. Actually it is not a simpler time. It is a very tumultuous time but as a nation grows from adolescence to adulthood, we see the world through the mind and heart of two young girls. We experience the human side of life in the old Soviet Union. We experience what is/was really important in life.
Amidst the turmoil of the Soviet Union of the 1970s, and thanks to the wonderful writing style of author Julia Gousseva, we experience what is/was most important in life; love, family, family traditions, and all the beauty that surrounds us. The combination of narrator Dawn Adkin’s soft soothing voice and author Julia Gousseva’s colorful, visual poetic writing style makes this book a joy to the senses.
Based on the print version of the book, there is a story for each month of the year: “January: A New Year’s Party at the Kremlin,” “February: Sunshine above the Clouds,” “March: Meeting My Best Friend,” “April: Swimming in Gorky Park,”May: The Swamp Spirit,” “June: A Real Gentleman,” “July: The Hedgehog,” “August: The Music Box,” “September: The First Day of School,” “October: The Witch Club,” “November: House Repairs,” “December: New Year's Tree.”
The author inserts background snippets before each story which are interesting for their stand-alone historical significance and they make each story that much more interesting.
I really loved the whole experience of listening to this book. The 12 stories are related to the months of the year and relevant to some of the traditions of the old Soviet Union and the new Russia. I recommend this book for all ages and because the narrator’s voice is so relaxing and soothing I want to mention that it would also make a wonderful bedtime story. Of course you will need to lie down on the bed next to your child and bond and listen to this wonderful collection of stories together to experience it as it should be. One more thing; this is a book that you can listen to multiple times. I highly recommend it - 5 stars.
The stories are organized in an easy to listen to order, with each chapter representing a month. Each month focuses on a special childhood memory. What makes it charming and delightful, is hearing what a childhood was like in Russia. Their customs, hopes, and dreams, while different are inherently universal ideas.
The main character's Uncle was my favorite. He was full of life and wonder. He brought much joy to the main character Julia, whenever he visited.
She had a great, clear delivery. She gave each character their own identity without going over the top. She also captured the humor and the first time feeling of the character's experiences.
In memory of childhood
This book was given to me in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. I enjoyed it not because it was 'free'...but because it really was a pleasure to listen to.
I would listen to it again, just to be able to revisit and experience the author's world and gain more insight that I did during the first listen.
I really liked hearing the author's perspective on growing up in the Soviet Union. It was unique and interesting to learn about the day to day lives of the people. With all of the politics that permeates the news nowadays, it was a breath of fresh air to hear about regular people simply living their lives. The author did a great job of captivating the emotions and atmosphere of her childhood and she painted a vivid and realistic picture with her words.
One of my favorite scenes was at the beginning of the book, when the author describes going to the palace for the traditional Christmas festivities. The details were great.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to view the Soviet Union from a child's perspective. It is very eye-opening and enjoyable.
A collection of sweet and innocent childhood stories set in the Soviet Russia, a country most of us still don't know much about. I found the writing insightful and enchanting. The narration made the stories come to life. Highly recommended!
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