Chimes of a Lost Cathedral
A young Russian woman comes into her own in the midst of revolution and civil war in this "brilliant" novel set in "a world of furious beauty" (Los Angeles Review of Books).
After the loves and betrayals of The Revolution of Marina M., young poet Marina Makarova finds herself alone amid the devastation of the Russian Civil War -- pregnant and adrift, forced to rely on her own resourcefulness to find a place to wait out the birth of her child and eventually make her way back to her native city, Petrograd.
After two years of revolution, the city that was once St. Petersburg is almost unrecognizable, the haunted, half-emptied, starving Capital of Once Had Been, its streets teeming with homeless children. Moved by their plight, though hardly better off herself, she takes on the challenge of caring for these orphans, until they become the tool of tragedy from an unexpected direction.
Shaped by her country's ordeals and her own trials -- betrayal and privation and inconceivable loss -- Marina evolves as a poet and a woman of sensibility and substance hardly imaginable at the beginning of her transformative odyssey.
Chimes of a Lost Cathedral is the culmination of one woman's s journey through some of the most dramatic events of the last century -- the epic story of an artist who discovers her full power, passion, and creativity just as her revolution reveals its true direction for the future.
Fitch's satisfying sequel to The Revolution of Marina M. continues the saga of Marina Makarova, a 19-year-old poet and revolutionary who has rejected her bourgeois family in favor of the Bolshevik Revolution. Picking up in 1919, the novel begins with pregnant Marina deciding to leave behind her unfaithful lover, Kolya, to join a spiritualist cult. A few months into joining, Marina is fully immersed in Red October propaganda and reconnected with her estranged husband, Genya. When Genya abandons her during childbirth in rural Udmurtia, Marina decides to return to her childhood home of St. Petersburg. There, she faces the consequences of past choices, as well as the grim realities of the Russian Civil War and the revolution she helped bring about. After enduring near starvation, a deadly winter, confrontations with the secret police, and devastating personal tragedies, Marina becomes a tenant of the House of the Arts, a collectivized residence for Petersburg's remaining intellectuals. Influenced by Russian literary giants Alexander Blok, Maxim Gorky, and Nicolay Gumilov, Marina grows increasingly ambivalent toward the Bolsheviks and her support of counter-revolutionaries makes her a political target. Fitch's impressive attention to historical detail and Marina's bold voice carry the often winding story. Though the narrative is overlong, Fitch's many fans will enjoy this immersive tale.