A sweeping masterwork of love and loss, secrets and survival, “On the Sickle's Edge” is told through the voices of three characters who lay bare their family’s saga: the endearing, scrappy South-African born Lena, transported to Latvia and later trapped in the USSR; her granddaughter Darya, a true Communist whose growing disillusionment with Soviet ideology places her family at mortal risk; and Steven, a painter from Boston who inadvertently stumbles into the tangled web of his family’s past. Against the roiling backdrop of twentieth-century Russia and Eastern Europe, the novel delivers equal parts historical drama, political thriller and poignant love story. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
Please note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of TLC Book Tours and I voluntarily chose to write a review
This was a fantastic book that had a fairly slow start. The book follows the history of three main characters: Lena (great-grandmother), Darya (grand-daughter) and Steven (a missing cousin). The build-up is a little more of a meandering story giving the history of the each individual characters within the context of the historical changes in the USSR. It is fascinating to see how things unfold, the decisions that people are forced to make and then how the political climate drove the decisions for survival.
As someone who doesn’t know very much about the internal workings of Russia, I found this extremely interesting both within the story and historically. It is hefty, so it’s a commitment, but I believe it is worth the time to become invested with the characters.
Warning: Contains sexual content and violence.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who should read it? Anyone with interest in history and would enjoy a family sweeping multiple generations.