Happy Friday Everyone! I don’t know about you but this week has been a long one. Thank goodness it’s almost the weekend. Anyway, onto our spotlight for this Friday. I am featuring Olga Godim and her book Lost and Found in Russia. This is was an exciting read both emotionally and intellectually. Olga takes us from Vancouver to Russia and back on a journey that would be a defining moment in any woman’s life. be sure to check out the rest of my review after the book blurb.
After a shocking discovery that her daughter was switched at birth thirty-four years ago, Amanda embarks on a trip to Russia to find her biological daughter. Meanwhile, Sonya—a thirty-four-year-old Russian immigrant and a former dancer— battles her daughter’s teenage rebellion. While Amanda wades through the mires of foreign bureaucracy, Sonya dreams of dancing. Both mothers are searching—for their daughters and for themselves.
Lost and Found in Russia is a fantastic journey book. When reading this you feel like you are learning something about yourself through Sonya and Amanda’s journey. The journey begins when Amanda learns that the daughter she raised was switched at birth and that her “real” daughter could be living a life of poverty in Russia. She soon becomes determined to find her other daughter and bring her over to Vancouver. Running parallel with Amanda’s story is Sonya’s. Sonya is a struggling mother of a teenager. She must work doubly hard since her husband is an alcoholic. Once she makes the difficult decision of kicking her husband out of the house for his lack of self-improvement she then fights her daughter who blames her for all of the problems and begins to exhibit delinquent behavior. In the mean time, Amanda is in Russia and while trying to discover the whereabouts of her daughter she begins to rediscover herself. She starts to learn that though she is getting older she isn’t dead or oblivious to the attentions of men. So, while Sonya and Amanda’s stories run parallel so do the journeys both physical and emotional that each mother and daughter face.
I really enjoyed this book. I could really see the character development as the story progressed. I’m not always a fan of parallel stories, but this one works. I think Olga managed to really write a fantastic story that draws you in. You feel the sadness, frustration and anxiety that Sonya feels and you feel the excitement, hope and love the Amanda exudes. The story moved along very smoothly and after a couple of chapters really sucks you in and you begin to wonder if Mother and Daughter will ever meet. I do have to say though the one thing I really didn’t like was the emphasis on a lot of anti-Semitism. I didn’t expect the word Jew to be used so often and with such as a derogatory term. I’m not fully familiar with the ins and outs of Russian culture, but I didn’t realize that anti-Semitism was so rampant there. Overall, this was a really good read and I would recommend it to anyone who ever looked at their parents and wondered if they were really yours or not.
Author Bio: (courtesy of Goodreads)
I’m a fantasy writer. I live in Vancouver, Canada, and have two wonderful children: a son and a daughter. Both have already flown the nest, so instead of children I now collect monkeys. I have over 300 monkey figurines in my collection. You can see one of them – she is my avatar here.
I’ve been making up stories with magic and swords since I was very young but I only started writing professionally in the 21st century. Before that, I was a computer programmer. Besides writing short stories and novels, I also work as a journalist for a local newspaper. I enjoy writing cultural pieces and personal profiles of the local artists.
My favorite things:
• Favorite hobby: reading.
• Favorite genres: fantasy and romance, although sometimes I find delight in a serious mainstream novel or a cozy mystery.
• Favorite music: classical.
• Favorite TV shows: it’s a pretty eclectic list, including Remington Steel, Babylon 5, Bones, and Murdoch Mysteries.
• Favorite online community: GoodReads