When the Doves Disappeared

When the Doves Disappeared

Book - 2015
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"From the internationally acclaimed author of Purge--a chillingly suspenseful, deftly woven new novel that opens up a little-known yet still controversial chapter of history: the occupation, resistance, and collaboration in Estonia during and after World War II. 1941: In Communist-ruled, war-ravaged Estonia, two men have deserted the Red Army--Roland, a fiercely principled freedom fighter, and his slippery cousin Edgar. When the Germans arrive, Roland goes into hiding; Edgar abandons his unhappy wife, Juudit, and takes on a new identity as a loyal supporter of the Nazi regime... 1963: Estonia is again under Communist control, independence even further out of reach behind the Iron Curtain. Edgar is now a Soviet apparatchik, desperate to hide the secrets of his past life and stay close to those in power. But his fate remains entangled with Roland's, and with Juudit, who may hold the key to uncovering the truth... In a masterfully told story that moves between the tumult of these two brutally repressive eras--a story of surveillance, deception, passion, and betrayal--Sofi Oksanen brings to life both the frailty, and the resilience, of humanity under the shadow of tyranny"-- Provided by publisher.
"1941: In Communist-ruled, war-ravaged Estonia, two men have deserted the Red Army--Roland, a fiercely principled freedom fighter, and his slippery cousin Edgar. When the Germans arrive, Roland goes into hiding; Edgar abandons his unhappy wife, Juudit, and takes on a new identity as a loyal supporter of the Nazi regime... 1963: Estonia is again under Communist control, independence even further out of reach behind the Iron Curtain. Edgar is now a Soviet apparatchik, desperate to hide the secrets of his past life and stay close to those in power. But his fate remains entangled with Roland's, and with Juudit, who may hold the key to uncovering the truth... In a masterfully told story that moves between the tumult of these two brutally repressive eras--a story of surveillance, deception, passion, and betrayal--Sofi Oksanen brings to life both the frailty, and the resilience, of humanity under the shadow of tyranny"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2015
Edition: First United States edition
ISBN: 9780385350174
0385350171
9780345805904
0345805909
Characteristics: 303 pages : map ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Rogers, Lola - Translator

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wyenotgo
Mar 09, 2016

Definitely not my cup of tea. Very bleak, dystopian, with no let-up as its dreary and hopeless narrative plays out. For these three main characters (as it is for Estonia itself) there is no way out. Any action a person could take to avoid being arrested, deported, tortured, murdered, whatever by the German invaders is sure to be seen later as collaboration by the Russians when they in turn take over. Only the craftiest and most unprincipled scoundrel (in this case the despicable Edgar) will survive and prosper under both regimes. It's a world so corrupt that one can only hope for some third party to descend upon it and destroy them all, the innocent (who cannot be saved anyway) along with the guilty (who should not be allowed to continue calling themselves human).
There are indications here of a talented writer. It's too bad that her grief over the tragic fate of her tiny, defenceless homeland has so darkened her outlook and caused her to deliver this angry book that reads very much like a confusing, tortured nightmare.

j
John_M
Feb 03, 2016

an interesting description of Estonia under Russia and Germany. Assume that there is some validity to this description. Enjoyed the plot and writing.

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