The book’s story takes into hand Leningrad of 1941, then into war, and it offers a remarkably reminiscences of the yesteryears, when Leningrad was being approached by the German army. Readers would figure out that endurance was the toughest possible streak among the victims and the civil population. Marina is the central character, who goes along and skitters back and forth with the gritty episodes of love, war and museum paintings.
Marina, in present time lives with her husband and children, suffers Alzheimer – and it is through this mental disorder that she often experiences past-life haunting memories and at the same time finding solace in pictures of the museum. The nub of the book is that how a suffering soul can find a respite in arts – prominently gallery pictures. The story seems incomplete as no particular war fighting characters have shown. However, the only feast is the writer’s immense aptitude for good language. References of paintings are a great thing that needs to cheer up with standing ovation.
The author succeeds in painting mind-engaging pictures through writing style and selection of words i.e. cold climatic conditions, people lives filled with fear and abject starvation during the Second World War. Novice readers probably won’t understand the book in first attempt.