Review: Sashenka by Simon Montefiore

From Goodreads:

Winter, 1916. In St Petersburg, snow is falling in a country on the brink of revolution. Beautiful and headstrong, Sashenka Zeitlin is just sixteen. As her mother parties with Rasputin and her dissolute friends, Sashenka slips into the frozen night to play her role in a dangerous game of conspiracy and seduction.Twenty years on, Sashenka has a powerful husband and two children. Around her people are disappearing but her own family is safe.But she’s about to embark on a forbidden love affair which will have devastating consequences. Sashenka’s story lies hidden for half a century, until a young historian goes deep into Stalin’s private archives and uncovers a heart-breaking story of passion and betrayal, savage cruelty and unexpected heroism – and one woman forced to make an unbearable choice …

My thoughts:

I love books.  I really do, they are an addiction for me.  I can’t walk past a library or a bookshop without going in.  In fact, if a guy were to take on a date that somehow involved books I would probably fall at his feet.  I also happen to have a fascination with Russia and fiction set in Russia, particularily during the periods of the revolution and the second world war. 

I hate writing bad reviews of books, I wish I could love every single book I read but I can’t.  I was so excited to read Sashenka because I thought I was going to get a well written piece of Russian fiction.  I couldn’t finish the book.  For me it jumped around in perspective too much.  It was very slow moving and I felt the writing was a bit stiff.  I couldn’t really get into it and gave up pretty quickly.  For me, I felt Sashenka wasn’t a particularily likeable character – I feel main characters should have something to endear them to the reader or should at least have something which will redeem them in the eyes of the reader but Sashenka failed to do this.  Maybe I will re-read this book because the premise really is intriguing but I don’t think it will be anytime soon.


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