[Book Review] Forget Russia by L. Bordetsky-Williams

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By L. Bordetsky-Williams

Anna is a second generation Russian-American Jew and a senior at UConn when she gets an opportunity to study in Moscow, in 1980. She finds herself navigating a Cold War culture she doesn’t fully understand. But an encounter with a young man at a Rosh Hashanah service leads to uncovering a lost piece of family history.

Bordetsky-Williams weaves a beautiful, multi-generational story contrasting the early days following the Russian revolution and the height of the Cold War era. Anna is an interesting character who returns to her ancestral homeland with optimism and an innocence that is quickly lost in a world where everyone has secrets. Her grandmother’s tragic story of being orphaned in a pogrom, immigrating to the United States only to return to Soviet Russia with her dreamer husband is artfully interwoven. I found the parallels between the generations very interesting.

This is an elegantly written story of romance, tragedy, and hope.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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More About This Author

L. Bordetsky-Williams (aka Lisa Williams) grew up in New York City. She is also the author of The Artist as Outsider in the Novels of Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf (Greenwood Press, 2000) and has been inspired by both of these towering authors. In 2005, she published a book of creative nonfiction, Letters to Virginia Woolf (Hamilton Books). She is also a poet and has published three poetry chapbooks: Sky Studies (Finishing Line Press), The Eighth Phrase (Porkbelly Press), and In the Early Morning Calling (Finishing Line Press). She is a Professor of English and Literary Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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