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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even I cried when I read it.,
By A Customer
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."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning book of passion and betrayal...,
By A Customer
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,
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will make you miss your stop on the train,
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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE PAST NEVER LEAVES YOU,
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.
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and emotional,
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite The Falling Snow,
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, one of the best novels I have read,
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read,
This review is from: Despite The Falling Snow (Paperback)Despite the Falling Snow tells the story of Alexander Ivanov, both in his present day life in America, and in his youth in cold-war Russia. The mystery of his missing wife runs through the book, and the conclusion is both heart-wrenching and unexpected.
The two timelines are woven together very well, and the cast of characters are well drawn and (mostly!) likeable. The suspense of the Russian timeline is balanced in the other by pervading sense of loss and regret, that you don't fully understand right until the end. Other reviewers have said that the American, present day, story felt superfluous, and that the whole book should have been set in Russia. However, I feel that the claustrophobia, paranoia and sense of danger in the Russian timeline is only highlighted by the freedom of the younger characters in the American timeline.
It was extremely well written, with vivid description and light, in-character dialogue. I never felt bogged down by the prose, and I didn't feel it was too wordy or densely written to be enjoyable.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and would recommend it in the highest terms.
5.0 out of 5 stars Despite the Falling Snow,
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Despite the Falling Snow by Shamim Sarif (Paperback - 7 Feb 2005)
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