A NovelBook - 2002
Set against the turbulent backdrop of Leningrad in 1941, a novel of love and war follows the Levin family--twenty-two year-old Anna, her young brother Kilya, and their father, Mikhail--as they struggle to survive during the German siege.
Blackwell North Amer
At the beginning of The Siege, sudden news of German attack rips the peaceful Levin family from their countryside retreat, throwing their world into unimagined turmoil. Soon all of Leningrad is trapped by the besieging German army, but daily life must go on. While little Kolya plays with his toy fort, his tiny body grows cruelly thin. While twenty-two-year-old Anna dreams of an artist's life, she must forage for food in the ever more desperate city. Likewise, Dunmore's lush, lyrical appreciation of life's comforts - a fire in the hearth, jam on the tongue - dwells in The Siege even amid the darkest despair.
Before the siege is over, a mysterious ex-actress and a gentle young doctor come to the Levins' frozen little apartment. Not all of the five will survive, but their struggle and their tragedy will ultimately bear hope for a new beginning.
Set against the turbulent backdrop of Leningrad in 1941, an intricately woven tapestry of love and war follows the Levin family--twenty-two-year-old Anna, her young brother Kolya, and their father, Mikhail--as they struggle to survive during the German siege. 25,000 first printing.
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The Siege starts with a frontispiece culled from Hitler's secret papers: the 1941 call for the obliteration of Leningrad and all of its inhabits. Dunmore plunges the reader into the lives of Anna, little brother Kolya, and her father Mikhail, a once successful writer whose work has fallen out of favor. Their lives are already in the grip of Stalin's paranoic regime at the novel's start , but as the Germans' blockade cuts the city off from external supports, the questions preoccupying Anna and her father shift as they must focus on survival. Without an ounce of sentimentality, Dunmore paints a world of frigid cold and gut aching hunger. She forces the reader to ponder the questions that haunt Anna: under threat of death, do I choose life or succumb to the passivity of despair? Could I survive with body, mind and humanity intact?
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