"Here in this shabby hallway, scrunched
up in a scanty space. . .on the other side of the
of a century, incredibly I've come
home and found. . .myself."
After a long busy life in America,
the author felt impelled to learn about the family she'd left in Samara, the city on the Volga where she was born. After glasnost
she was finally able to return there and find the places, though not the people, of her youth. Her search resurrected childhood
memories of revolution, civil war, famine and exile, which she felt impelled to share, "to speak for so many others
who have silently endured the loss of all they valued."
The reader will meet the extended family that faced
many trials in those chaotic years (reminiscent of current conditions in Russia, and will be moved by their steadfast togetherness
through want and woe. Babushka, the heart of the home, who fed and mothered them all; debonair Adolf (Papa), who lost all
he had gained in a lifetime of struggle; elegant Olga (Mamma), whose brief happiness perished under the fear and loneliness
the years brought; the playful cousins and the loving aunts; and the child who saw and felt it all and grew up to tell their
You will share the love and courage that sustained them and helped them survive hunger and despair, the
humor that cheered dreary days under a capricious regime and the strength that carried them through affliction and calamity.
You will weep over their sorrows and enjoy their triumphs. And they will live again in your memory.