Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood

Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood What a delightful collection of short stories This is the second book I ve read from Julia Gousseva, so I knew the style of writing and the great descriptions that were bound to fill the fill the kindle pages she didn t let me down This collection of short stories is touching, and gives a great picture of a different place and time through the eyes of an innocent child A great evening read. Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood is a charming collection of twelve short stories, one for each month of the year, completing a cycle of time that harkens back to the author s childhood in her homeland, and to her rich Russian culture To enrich our experience and make it even vivid, the author, Julia Gousseva, offers not only the stories but in parallel also the reference material for them.For example, she precedes the story January A New Year s Party at the Kremlin with tidbits of historical notes about the Czatina Alexandra Fyodorovna, who brought the idea of decorating a pine tree from Germany From this the author pivots right into the story as seen from her eyes as a young child The dialog with her older cousin Dmitry is quite telling about the regime at the time There are hidden cameras behind that mirror, he whispers, to watch for stuff And I don t like when people watch me Or control me I like to be independent Each one of these childhood memories is told in a refreshingly honest manner, and you can get a feel for the Russian soul simply by the temperature and locale of these vignettes February Sunshine above the Clouds, March Meeting My Best Friend, April Swimming in Gorky Park, May The Swamp Spirit, June A Real Gentleman, July The Hedgehog, August The Music Box, September The First Day of School, October The Witch Club, November House Repairs, and December New Year s Tree, which brings us full circle to the beginning of the year To offer any than these titles would be robbing you of the delightful experience and of the Russian soul, which is celebrated in this book I highly recommend it.Five stars. REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK This book was much shorter than I was expecting, but it was a delight I love books which show me things I didn t know and my knowledge of Russia after the Second World War is very limited Each of the twelve stories cover a month of the year and the author gives an explanation of what was current in the USSR at the time I shall be looking for books written by Ms Gousseva. Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood Short Stories by Julia Gousseva is a wonderful selection of short stories about the author s childhood in Communist Russia but thankfully her approach is fresh and charming.Telling a story for each month of the year Gousseva takes us back to a simple time in her life Yes, Communist rules determine a lot of her life but the book does not bemoan hardship or missed material goods It is a sentimental journey into all day life and special occasions of her life.Having had relatives on the other side of the Berlin Wall I have found it always very hard to imagine just how life was for people in The East , and many comparisons of our and their lives tended to focus on TV, VHS and Cigarette brands All very justifiable points, but to portray life the way Gousseva does is a true gift.Gousseva introduces most of her stories with author notes, giving background information on cultural or climatic factors that come into play in her writing later, but the stories concern what would concern a child on either side of the iron curtain A music box, the family garden, or questions like How do we feel when we benefit from a friend being punished What does a hedgehog perceive The location of these personal memories and stories could be almost seen as secondary, but with the author s thoughtful notes and the many interesting small facts that are included, Gousseva draws a vivid picture of life in her Russia.I would like to thank the author for sharing the memories with us and allowing us some further insight into a world we would otherwise know little about It is wonderful to learn that there were so many good moments and so many pleasures despite oppression and deprivation. Julia Gousseva has a fine eye for placing her characters in a landscape political, emotional, cultural and then bringing both the character and that backdrop to life I discovered this reading her acclaimed novel Moscow Dreams and was pleased to find the style carries over to this collection of 12 short stories, each set in a different month of the year and again taking us on a journey back into her own Moscow childhood.While we are treated to astute observations about the shortages and harsh realities in the lean years of the former Soviet Russia has very much really changed, one is forced to ask the stories are grounded in the quotidian life of a young girl, her thoughts and fears, her dreams and doubts the feeling of freezing fingers in harsh winters, the joy of plants pushing through thawing snow, fruit appearing on the trees, days that seem to last forever Gousseva gives the commonplace a sense of majesty and wonder and, seen through the eyes of a child, we feel locked in the moment The writing is elegiac, controlled the stories, linked by running themes that are Dostoyevskian in depth and draw a vivid portrait of the culture of the times. I wish Julia Gousseva could write about my childhood here in the US, so I could see it in the way she has described her own To be able to recall the details is one thing, to be able to write them with such care and meaning is another, and to be able to do both is a true talent In Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood Short Stories author Julia Gousseva transports us behind the iron curtain to a time of innocence in the life of a young girl Gousseva has given us a vibrant portrayal of what it was really like, and it was not as different or awful as one might think at least for a child or from their perspective I like how she took us through a typical year of a Soviet childhood each story takes place in a different month The Author Notes, which introduce each story, are perfect, they tell us just enough to set the scene and even teach a bit The length of each tale is great, allowing for brief reads or allowing us to run through many months at once The author leads us right into these memories, so that we are splashing in the fountain at Gorky Park, enjoying the party at the Kremlin, having conversations with Babushka and the other relatives , the other Julia, going to the country, adventures in school, etc I can t wait to share these stories with my young son It makes me want to collect similar books about growing up in other countries In the meantime start with this one, it s charming. Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood Short Stories Russian History Stories by Julia GoussevaExperiences of RussiaThrough the several books I have read, the author has shown to research well and write to a high standard this again hits the mark Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood is full of heart felt memories and beautifully written Gousseva has created a fantastically rich and sentimental book that will certainly engage many readers.If you are looking for a great read to learn aspects of Russian life, these short stories will a welcomed addition to anyone s collection The writing is touching, descriptive and leaves the reader with the experiences of Russia.A super and informative 5 read This book is beautifully written and a wonderful insight into every day Russian life.The stories are written one for every month of the year and each is introduced with a little background information from the author The stories follow the lives of a traditional Russian family and are told from the perspective of the young daughter They give the reader a real feel of what it was like to grow up in Russia in the 1990s and draw on contrasts from earlier decades illustrating how life had changed for Russian people.If you wish to learn about Russian life and traditions in a light and entertaining way then this collection of stories is definitely the book for you. This Collection Of Stories Will Take You From Icy Cold Winter Days In Moscow To Sunny Or Rainy Summers In The Russian Countryside A Brief Note Accompanies Each Story To Help You Understand The Events, Places, Or Characters DescribedMost Books About The Soviet Union Focus On Politics, Food Shortages, Or Lack Of Democratic Freedoms This Book Portrays Everyday Experiences Of A Young Girl Growing Up In The Soviet Union Of The S And S Childhood Can Be A Magical And Innocent Time Oblivious To Political Regimes And Problems And That S What These Twelve Stories Strive To Convey These short stories about life in communist Russia show things in a very personal way It s the little things when reading a book set in another country that really show either personal experience or tons of research on the author s part These stories are a child s view of the times The declining economy was especially interesting to me Although we are far away from those conditions today, I do see how my own children are living in a turbulent time than I did To see it from a child s P.O.V was intriguing Since I have read several of Julia Gousseva s books, I m finding you can t go wrong 5 stars

Julia Gousseva was born and raised in Russia when it was still a part of the Soviet Union, or USSR For a long time, Russia was hidden behind the Iron Curtain and had a mysterious image of the Evil Empire to many Westerners, specifically Americans But Russia was a mystery not just to outsiders, but to its own people as well One of Julia s college history professors used to refer to Russia as a c

[PDF / Epub] ⚣ Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood  ✈ Julia Gousseva –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 121 pages
  • Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood
  • Julia Gousseva
  • English
  • 20 August 2018

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