The Patriots

The Patriots

A Novel

Book - 2017
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A sweeping multigenerational novel about idealism, betrayal, and family secrets set in the U.S. and Russia, from one of Granta 's Best of Young American Novelists

When the Great Depression hits, Florence Fein leaves Brooklyn College for a job in Moscow--and the promise of love and independence. But once in Russia, she quickly becomes entangled in a country she can't escape. Many years later, Florence's son, Julian, immigrates back to the United States, though his work in the oil industry takes him on frequent visits to Moscow. When he learns that Florence's KGB file has been opened, he arranges a business trip to uncover the truth about his mother, and to convince his son, Lenny--trying to make his fortune in Putin's cutthroat Russia--to return home. What Julian discovers is both chilling and heartbreaking: an untold story of a generation of Americans abandoned by their country, and the secret history of two rival nations colluding under the cover of enmity.

The Patriots is a riveting evocation of the Cold War years, told with brilliant insight and extraordinary skill. Alternating between Florence's and Julian's perspectives, it is at once a mother-son story and a tale of two countries bound in a dialectic dance; a love story and a spy story; both a grand, old-fashioned epic and a contemporary novel of ideas. Through the history of one family moving back and forth between continents over three generations , The Patriots is a poignant tale of the power of love, the rewards and risks of friendship, and the secrets parents and children keep from one another.

Praise for The Patriots

" The Patriots is a historical romance in the old style: multigenerational, multi-narrative, intercontinental, laden with back stories and historical research, moving between scrupulous detail and sweeping panoramas, the first-person voice and a kaleidoscopic third, melodrama and satire, Cleveland in 1933 and Moscow in 2008." --Nathaniel Rich, The New York Times Book Review

"Dazzling and addictive . . . an outstanding family saga." -- The Spectator (U.K.)

"Extraordinary . . . The Patriots has the weight of a classic." --Commentary Magazine

"I found on every page an observation so acute, a sentence of such truth and shining detail, that it demanded re-reading for the sheer pleasure of it. The Patriots has convinced me that Krasikov belongs among the totemic young writers of her era." --Khaled Hosseini, author of And the Mountains Echoed and The Kite Runner

" The Patriots is a masterwork, a Dr. Zhivago for our times." --Yann Martel, author of The High Mountains of Portugal and Life of Pi

"A sustained feat of brilliance." --Anthony Marra, author of The Tsar of Love and Techno

"In a galvanizing tale of flawed and courageous protagonists, erotic and political passion, and harrowing struggles for survival, Krasikov masterfully and devastatingly exposes the 'whole dark clockwork' of totalitarianism and asks what it means to be a hero, a patriot, a human being." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Ambitious and compelling." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Publisher: New York : Spiegel & Grau, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780385524414
Characteristics: xiii, 542 pages ;,25 cm.


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Aug 28, 2017

I managed to read up to page 325 and gave up. The story jumps back and forth between 1937 and 2008. There is an overabundance of detail that I couldn't identify with. Reading is entertainment and this novel didn't do it for me.

Aug 06, 2017

I just couldn't get into the beginning of this novel; it wasn't holding my attention as some other historical novels grab you right from the first few pages. I just had shoulder surgery so that could be a factor.

Mar 09, 2017

Historical Fiction. My favorite book genre of all time. Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down. The author does a splendid job setting scenes, I felt like I was there in the story watching it unfold before my eyes. The characters are well developed, complex and believable.

This story switches back and forth between modern day Russia and the Soviet Union of the 1930s and 1950s. It is an impressive, fearful look at day to day lives of Russians living under the reign of both Stalin and Putin.

There were times in the story that I felt dragged on a bit much. I think the author could have gotten the point across with fewer words. There were instates that certain parts of the story seemed repetitive or just not relevant to the overall plot. I found myself skimming over entire pages.

I felt Krasikov did an amazing job showing the both the immediate and long term aftermath that a single decision can make. It is amazing to be able to look at a family and see the different mind sets between generations based on the society a person grows up in and how they are raised.

This was a 4 star read for me! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for allowing me to read and give my honest review.

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