on 20 August 2010
Recommended by a friend, I was very suprised about how romantic I found Wilk's writings, especially given his Polish birth. Based on the author's time on and around the Solovetsky Islands, a tiny speck in the North of Russia which boasts a relatively enormous historical importance, Wilk describes the people and their daily lives through the eyes of a foreigner strangely entranced.
I've never been to Russia, nor do I speak any Russian, so the cultural and linguistic insights were interesting (you will have to refer back to the glossary regularly throughout). I must admit, I found some of the historical and literary references a bit heavy at times, but this didn't make the book incomprehensible.
I can imagine this would be a great book to read when travelling off the beaten track in Russia!