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Rosenberg, Suzanne.

Toronto, Oxford University Press. 1988. 212pp. cloth, $24.95, ISBN 0-19-5406540. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Marlene Wylychenko

Volume 16 Number 6
1988 November

This biography deals with the lives of Suzanne Rosenberg and her family and friends. Rosenberg led a normal life working as a translator; her circle of friends were mainly Russia's "intelligentsia." She became involved with Victor, who was later arrested. This was the start of her odyssey during the Stalin era. Then she met and married Mikhail. She was witness to many-more arrests, which ended with her husband's and later her own. She found out later that her brother and mother were also arrested and eventually died in prison.

Prisoners of all ages and sexes worked long hours felling trees, digging graves or splitting mica. The food consisted of gruel and bread, and bathing was rare. After the death of Stalin, amnesty was granted to murderers and armed robbers. Political criminals—the worst kind—were not released unless their sentences were five years or less.

Throughout the novel Rosenberg maintains an open mind while telling the story of her life. I kept waiting for her to repudiate communism and her native country, but she remained amazingly unbiased. It is because of this approach that her book is enjoyable and true to life.

Marlene Wylychenko, The Pas, Man.
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