Author: Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Published Date: October 25th 2016
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
Page Count: 320
My Rating: ★ ★ ★
There never was a story that was happy through and through.
When writer Arthur Ransome leaves his home in England and moves to Russia to work as a journalist, it is with little idea of the violent revolution about to erupt. Unwittingly, he finds himself at its center, tapped by the British to report back on the Bolsheviks even as he becomes dangerously romantically entangled with revolutionary leader Trotsky’s personal secretary. Both sides seek to use Arthur for their own purposes…and, as he struggles to find autonomy, both sides grow to suspect him of being a double agent. Arthur wants only to elope far from the conflict with his beloved. But when he attempts to extract himself and Evgenia from the complicated politics and politicians that he fears will lead them both to their deaths, the decisions he faces are the most dangerous and difficult of his life.
“There never was a story that was happy through and through.”
Lets get a few things straight about this book.
1. The main character is not a young adult.
2. This does have fairy tale elements, but it wasn't the main focus of this book.
3. I feel like I was supposed to get so much more out of this book than what I did.
Having said all of those things, I feel like I should also say that I really enjoyed the historical part of this book. The main character is based off a real writer who was actually in Russia during this time and did write several of the pieces mentioned. I found the parts mentioned about his actual work very interesting, especially how he would get the information for his stories.
When it came to his personal life, I just didn't really like him. He ran from his problems once he realized that the person he was oh so in love with wasn't who he thought she was. He ran from the child he so desperately loved, to a country that he had no real ties to besides the fact he wanted to live there. The new person he was so in love with I was constantly afraid was someone who was really just a spy or someone using him, so I never felt comfortable with the relationship.
As for the fairy tale element thrown in randomly throughout the story, sadly for me they just didn't work. They didn't bother me, I just didn't feel like they helped the story at all.
I am interested to read more of Sedgwick work though as it is so loved. Plus the writing in this one did keep me captivated the story itself just wasn't one I particularly loved.