From the mega-bestselling author of White Oleander and Paint It Black, a sweeping historical saga of the Russian Revolution, as seen through the eyes of one young woman.
St. Petersburg, New Year's Eve, 1916. Marina Makarova is a young woman of privilege who aches to break free of the constraints of her genteel life, a life about to be violently upended by the vast forces of history. Swept up on these tides, Marina will join the marches for workers' rights, fall in love with a radical young poet, and betray everything she holds dear, before being betrayed in turn.
As her country goes through almost unimaginable upheaval, Marina's own coming-of-age unfolds, marked by deep passion and devastating loss, and the private heroism of an ordinary woman living through extraordinary times. This is the epic, mesmerizing story of one indomitable woman's journey through some of the most dramatic events of the last century.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
If you’ve ever wanted to experience the magic of Danielle Steel and Dostoyevsky at the same time, this historical-fiction epic is for you. Set during the chaos of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, The Revolution of Marina M. follows a daring young Russian woman who’s trying to live her best life in the midst of social and political turmoil. Rich with period color and factual detail, Janet Fitch’s story feels decidedly lively and contemporary, as Marina dabbles in spying for the Communists and experiments with her sexual desires. This adventurous and sexy novel is enormous fun to read.
In a break with her contemporary fiction, Fitch (White Oleander) has written an epic bildungsroman about a girl who lives through the Russian Revolution. In 1916 Petrograd, 16-year-old Marina Dmitrievna Makarova is an aspiring poet from a well-to-do background. Through her eyes, readers see the deprivations caused by World War I, the ouster of the czar, and the rise of the Bolsheviks. She loses her virginity to a friend, Kolya Shurov, on leave from his regiment, and falls in love with an impoverished fellow poet, Gena Kuriakin. With her friends, Jewish Mina and radical Varvara, she is swept up in the first wave of revolutionary fervor, for which her father kicks her out of the house. After a series of misadventures, including sexual enslavement, passing herself off as a boy, and running off with Kolya (now an enemy of the state), Marina finally finds sanctuary at her family's country estate, which has been taken over by a spiritualist cult. The resilient Marina has much in common with the modern heroines of the author's previous books and is a protagonist worth following. However, even though the book is well researched, the overlong narrative peters out.
Epic in every way
Marina is a heroine you rush home every evening to spend time with. Daring, smart, brave, beautiful, passionate, adventuresome, and a poet? She’s the woman we all want to be, or love, or both. Placing her in the tumult of the Russian Revolution and the emergence of Communism tests her mettle, purifies her with fire. And Fitch’s writing is, itself, pure poetry. You want to run home to Marina at night. You turn her pages, enthralled. And when you discover that this is only Book One... joy!