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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will make you miss your stop on the train, 19 Oct 2009
By 
A. Gavira (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Despite the Falling Snow (Paperback)
While reading Despite the Falling Snow I kept asking myself, what is it that's so captivating about the author's writing? What draws me in and resolutely refuses to let go?
The answer is the uncanny way Shamim Sarif has of capturing feelings and emotions. From the simplest of things, such as the feeling you get when you walk in out of the cold into a warm room, or take a sip of a drink, to the contradictory emotions you might be assailed with when you unexpectedly see the face of somebody from your past, Shamim Sarif manages to capture it exactly so that you're right there. Combined with an amazing instinct for the subtleties of how we talk to and read each other, the result is that all the characters are so completely believable that they and the story work their way under your skin, and that wonderful thing happens, everything around you melts away and you're lost in another world. I love it when that happens! Then there are the challenging settings the author chooses, difficult socio-political situations that are part of the natural weave of the story and not used like the blunt instruments some writers bash you over the head with. These and other reasons make this and her first novel, The World Unseen, books I'm sure I'll pull off my shelf time and again, despite the risk of missing my stop on the train!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning book of passion and betrayal..., 29 April 2004
By A Customer
I just loved this book! Real, three-dimensional passionate characters youcan really believe in, and a stunning plot with a slow-burn but has youcrying by the end. I loved the author's first novel, The World Unseen, too- a super talented writer, who uses interesting political backdrops totell intimate and moving stories.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully told tale of the fight for life and love, 13 Jan 2006
This review is from: Despite the Falling Snow (Paperback)
The plot shifts from present day America, back to the Soviet Union of the fifties. I found the American storyline to be rather a facade in cardboard, but the Russian plotline is quite thrilling. What a shame that the whole book did not take place there. The Russian characters were fully rounded and desperately plausible. The need to attempt to live in a society based on fear and brutality and the consequent moral and ethical dilemmas faced was brilliantly illuminated. The daily, claustrophobic burden of surveillance was real. Although I have never been to Russia I had a marvelous sense of place from the book. I too have trodden the snowy Moscow streets and survived, for that alone I thank Shamin Sarif.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even I cried when I read it., 27 April 2004
By A Customer
I'm not very good with novels but once I hit
the chapter 'Moscow' Iread it right to the end
without stopping except to get boxes of tissues.
Shamim's second novel Despite the Falling Snow is already in the shops; itis SO exciting. Even I cried when I read it.
The enthralling narrative of Shamim Sarif's
Powerful second novel begins in present day Boston and travels back to thesnowbound streets of post-Stalinist Moscow to uncover a hidden world ofpassion and betrayal, secrets and treachery.
Extract from current Waterstones Books Quarterly:
"a perfectly balanced novel of love and tragedy...Despite the Falling
Snow is a delicate piece of writing...Sarif draws with great clarity aworld completely alien to most Westerners...The beauty of the streets of Moscow, the bejewelled architecture of the metro stations, is all amajestic backdrop to a play of mistrust and deception where friends, eventhe best of friends, can turn against each other in fear."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE PAST NEVER LEAVES YOU, 10 Sep 2009
By 
S. ROVELLI - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the story of a wealthy Russian man who loves his company in New York but finds that the time has come to sell it. During this process he reflects about his past and his homeland. He will eventually find out what has become of what he has left there and rediscover everything that his mind has been trying to erase.
I found this book very romantic and compelling, I appreciated the fact that someone decided to write about this period of time which usually stays in the shadows.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth every penny., 23 Sep 2014
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I really enjoyed this book. It grabbed me from the start and I quickly became absorbed in both aspects of the story, one set in Boston in the late 1990s and one set in Moscow in the 1950s, with some characters overlapping. I love Ms Sarif's writing style. I find it eminently readable and she has an amazing ability to capture the nuances of human emotions that one can recognise and identify with but not necessarily ever have thought to verbalise. It also sparked an interest in recent Russian History and I felt obliged to find out more about it. I have now read all of Shamim Sarif's books and I intend to watch the films. I hope this one is also made into a film, it would be a good one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Clever plot, vibrant characters and fascinating read, 22 Mar 2014
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Clever, suspenseful, well-written and researched. This was a great, captivating read.

The characters were vivid and real and the plot was compelling. I really enjoyed this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous read!, 14 Feb 2014
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I read this on the recommendation of a friend who knows the author, Shamim.

I was hooked from the first page. It's one of those books you just can't put down. A wonderfully moving story of great love and great loss. Highly recommend.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ, 7 Feb 2014
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Could not put book down,,mostly read mystery or detective books.Will be looking for more books by this author.Recomended to all my friends.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and emotional, 12 Oct 2013
By 
Peter Daniell (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) - See all my reviews
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This is a beautifully written love story set amongst the cruel, unforgiving world of post-Stalinist Russia. Rarely has a book managed to bring out such emotion in me. A few simple characters, a storyline that is as unbelievable as it is believable, and a descriptive prose that makes you feel the heartache. Exhausting.
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Despite the Falling Snow
Despite the Falling Snow by Shamim Sarif (Paperback - 7 Feb 2005)
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