I was already a fan of Anthony Marra first book, 'A Constellation of Vital Phenomena', which is one of my favourite books to this day. So when I saw that he had written a series of short stories, I knew that I wanted to read them.
The characters are real and interesting, in a time of Russian history that is dark and not exactly easy to live through. It spans from Communist times to 2013. Not only does it span years, each story and character interconnect. It spans families, towns, and countries.
Not only this, but you learn that not all the characters are all what they seem. They may seem like horrible people from one point of view, only to learn their stories and the truth behind them. The stories teach you that in a time when suspicion between people can paint them in untrue light until you see it all through their eyes. Not all stories are true and not all narrators are reliable.
I found the writing really well done and it reminded me of Marra's other story in a good way. I admit, I was sent into a reading slump after reading this book because I wasn't ready to leave his stories and his characters behind. He tends to have a way of capturing my mind so easily, it's hard to go back to other books. He brings the history of a country I know only bits about to life in a really captivating way.