The Revolution of Marina M.

The Revolution of Marina M From the mega bestselling author of White Oleander and Paint It Black a sweeping historical saga of the Russian Revolution as seen through the eyes of one young womanSt Petersburg New

  • Title: The Revolution of Marina M.
  • Author: Janet Fitch
  • ISBN: 0316022071
  • Page: 332
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the mega bestselling author of White Oleander and Paint It Black, a sweeping historical saga of the Russian Revolution, as seen through the eyes of one young womanSt Petersburg, New Year s Eve, 1916 Marina Makarova is a young woman of privilege who aches to break free of the constraints of her genteel life, a life about to be violently upended by the vast forces of From the mega bestselling author of White Oleander and Paint It Black, a sweeping historical saga of the Russian Revolution, as seen through the eyes of one young womanSt Petersburg, New Year s Eve, 1916 Marina Makarova is a young woman of privilege who aches to break free of the constraints of her genteel life, a life about to be violently upended by the vast forces of history Swept up on these tides, Marina will join the marches for workers rights, fall in love with a radical young poet, and betray everything she holds dear, before being betrayed in turn.As her country goes through almost unimaginable upheaval, Marina s own coming of age unfolds, marked by deep passion and devastating loss, and the private heroism of an ordinary woman living through extraordinary times This is the epic, mesmerizing story of one indomitable woman s journey through some of the most dramatic events of the last century Get A Copy Kindle Store Online StoresAudibleBarnes NobleWalmart eBooksApple BooksGoogle PlayAbebooksBook DepositoryIndigoAlibrisBetter World BooksIndieBoundLibraries Or buy for Paperback, 816 pages Published November 6th 2018 by Back Bay Books first published November 7th 2017 More Details ISBN 0316022071 ISBN13 9780316022071 Series The Revolution of Marina M 1 Other Editions 12 All Editions Add a New Edition Combine Less Detail edit details Friend Reviews To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up Reader QA To ask other readers questions about The Revolution of Marina M please sign up Popular Answered Questions When is this coming out Im so excited like one year ago See all 2 answers Asterop Expected publication November 7th 2017 by Little, Brown and Company flag How to buy this book like one year ago Add your answer Michael Blackstone From for my Kindle flag See all 8 questions about The Revolution of Marina M Lists with This Book This book is not yet featured on Listopia Add this book to your favorite list Community Reviews Showing 1 30 Rating details Sort Default Filter Nov 22, 2017 Janet rated it it was amazing Review from the author review of another edition Shelves russia, big books This is where I ve been for the last decade working on one novel, The Revolution of Marina M. If you know me from my first two books, White Oleander and Paint It Black, both set in my home town of Los Angeles, you might be surprised to see a book set during the Russian Revolution But as Toni Morrison once advised writers If there s a book that you want to read, but it hasn t been written yet, then you must write it I m one of those people Elif Batuman described in her book The Possessed This is where I ve been for the last decade working on one novel, The Revolution of Marina M. If you know me from my first two books, White Oleander and Paint It Black, both set in my home town of Los Angeles, you might be surprised to see a book set during the Russian Revolution But as Toni Morrison once advised writers If there s a book that you want to read, but it hasn t been written yet, then you must write it I m one of those people Elif Batuman described in her book The Possessed People Obsessed with Russian Literature. crazy about Russia I majored in history, Russian was my language No one who knows me well was at all surprised to hear I was writing a historical novel set in Russia One look at my books here on should give you a clue.And if you ve read one of my earlier books, you know that the inner lives of women is my great obsession I m fascinated by how the decisions a young girl makes, the actions she takes based upon the conclusions she draws, create the woman she becomes I fiercely admire the strength young women bring to their search for self My newest novel is the story of one girl s coming of age during some of the most turbulent times in the modern epoch.To those major impulses, add a third my love of poetry and admiration for its practitioners My protagonist, Marina Makarova, is a young poet the same age as the century, fiery and headstrong with an enormous love of life We meet her in 1916, in the midst of the First World War, as Russia sinks further and further into military disaster, economic stress and social unrest The daughter of a liberal intelligentsia family, Marina comes to champion the cause of the suffering underclass As the old world begins to unravel, she finds a new freedom in which to explore a new self, testing the boundaries of her life, both politically and personally But when the October Revolution sweeps away the short lived liberal government in which her father is a member, the girl who has itched to break free of all constraints finds herself forcibly expelled from her family, to live at 17 as an independent woman and a poet among poets, a citizen among citizens in a time of chaos and possibility A passionate girl, Marina s love is divided between two very different men one from the past, her older brother s best friend who scoffs at the revolution and claims allegiance to a country of one and the second, an openhearted radical poet with whom she lives the life of the revolution Each man responds to a different side of her nature, and there is no easy solution to a nature at war with itself Love, friendship, loss, betrayal, possibility, realism and idealism, these are some of the themes of the book.I love a big, intense book I want it to immerse me completely in its fictional world I ve loved the years I ve spent with Marina, and I hope you find it as satisfying to read as it was to create This novel is in fact the first volume of two I am currently finishing next one, called Chimes of a Lost Cathedral, which will appear Summer 2019 If you d like to know about the book, read an excerpt, see maps, photographs and learn a bit about the research behind it, please visit my website at janetfitchwrites.Thanks flag 234 likesLike see review View all 97 comments Korie Brown Please finish it Aug 26, 2018 05 07AM Cheryl Loman Just finished Anna Karenina my first foray into Russian literature am about to start your book I won in a giveaway I m so excited nothing Just finished Anna Karenina my first foray into Russian literature am about to start your book I won in a giveaway I m so excited nothing better than digging into a big book Haven t read your work before but heard good things so I think I am in for a treat Jan 27, 2019 08 52AM Sep 14, 2017 Cheri rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves 2017, arc, netgalley, russia, historical fiction, cultural russia NOW AVAILABLE MIDNIGHT, NEW YEAR S EVE, three young witches gathered in the city that was once St Petersburg Though that silver sound, Petersburg, had been erased, and how oddly the new one struck our ears Petrograd. A sound like bronze Like horseshoes on stone, hammer on anvil, thunder in the name Petrograd. No longer Petersburg of the bells and water, that city of mirrors, of transparent twilights, Tchaikovsky ballets, and Pushkin s genius Its name had been changed by war Petersbur NOW AVAILABLE MIDNIGHT, NEW YEAR S EVE, three young witches gathered in the city that was once St Petersburg Though that silver sound, Petersburg, had been erased, and how oddly the new one struck our ears Petrograd. A sound like bronze Like horseshoes on stone, hammer on anvil, thunder in the name Petrograd. No longer Petersburg of the bells and water, that city of mirrors, of transparent twilights, Tchaikovsky ballets, and Pushkin s genius Its name had been changed by war Petersburg was thought too German, though the name is Duth Petrograd. The sound is bronze, and this is a story of bronze As this story really begins, it is on the eve of the New Year, 1916, and when dawn breaks, a new year will begin 1917, will be a year to be remembered, the beginning of great change in Petrograd As the New Year s Eve begins, Marina Makarova is on the verge of sixteen, with hair the red of young foxes crossing a field of snow her younger brother, Seryozha, a year younger, still, her older brother, Volodya, an officer in the cavalry off fighting in Bohemia For now, Marina is surrounded by her friends, Varvara and Mina, while they wait to see their fortunes cast over a basin of water in the children s nursery of Marina s home It seems like a scene in a glass globe to me now I want to turn it over and set the snow to swirling I want to shout to my young self, Stop Don t be in such a hurry to peel back the petals of the future It will be here soon enough, and it won t be quite the bloom you expect Just stay there, in that precious moment, at the hinge of time but I was in love with the Future, in love with the idea of Fate Marina Dmietrievna Makarova is a daughter of privilege, her father has done well, and her parents are well thought of among their peers Marina s thoughts, when she is not writing her poetry, seem to center around love, and handsome young men Dancing A kiss Perhaps With the tide rising against those families who have than their fair share, Marina chooses to dip her toes into the waters of the Revolution that is growing, but still in the stages of its infancy At first it isn t much, some poetry readings where she meets other poets, hears new ideas Eventually she joins in the marches for workers rights, a move that gains her some new friends A dangerous move Marina isn t always the most likeable of characters There are parts of her story that are beyond heartbreaking, and there are some that had me question where her part of this story was going Marina seems easily swept away, without much thought or real commitment, and rarely with any thought of potential consequence Then again, she is still relatively young It is through Marina that we see much of the Revolution, from the February Revolution which took place from 8 16 March 1917, followed by the October Revolution from 7 8 November 1917, and through the Russian Civil War Part coming of age story, this is a story of relationships tested by the division of right and wrong, the division of those who have and those who never have War Friendship Betrayal Familial Love Romantic Love.Several years ago I read, and loved, Janet Fitch s White Oleander I have not read her novel Paint it Black I wanted to read The Revolution of Marina M because I had found White Oleander to be incredibly beautifully written I can t say that I was equally as mesmerized with all of The Revolution of Marina M although the writing is still beautiful The length of this is somewhat daunting to contemplate, but once you begin reading this, I found it to be a pleasurable read, overall although I do think it would have benefitted from some healthy trimming on, at least, one of the side stories November 2017, which will also be the month of the publication, will be the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution Pub Date 07 Nov 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by Little, Brown and Company flag 106 likesLike see review View all 45 comments May 21, 2018 Matt rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves epics, historical fiction, russian history At first I saw nothing Then, way up at the end of Nevsky, a black dot appeared A bit of red As I watched the dot grew into a bobbing mass, adorned with small smears of scarlet Now a noise, faint, like the whispering of waves on a pebbly beach, a low gravelly chatter, arose and soon echoed off the buildings and rolled down the boulevard The marchers were chanting but we weren t close enough to hear the words Varvara squeezed my arm I squeezed back We felt the shimmering possibility that t At first I saw nothing Then, way up at the end of Nevsky, a black dot appeared A bit of red As I watched the dot grew into a bobbing mass, adorned with small smears of scarlet Now a noise, faint, like the whispering of waves on a pebbly beach, a low gravelly chatter, arose and soon echoed off the buildings and rolled down the boulevard The marchers were chanting but we weren t close enough to hear the words Varvara squeezed my arm I squeezed back We felt the shimmering possibility that things could be different No they were different This column of black coming toward us felt like history itself Janet Fitch, The Revolution of Marina M.This is why I read There are many reasons to pick up a book To learn To understand To be moved To be entertained You read, of course, to be transported But this rarely happens It takes a special book to do that Janet Fitch s The Revolution of Marina M transported me It took me off the morning train, and brought me to Russia on the brink of and during the fateful Russian Revolution This is a massive epic, as is typical with novels about Russia In exactly 800 pages, we learn the story of Marina Makarova, a young poet from a liberal bourgeois family in St Petersburg Save for an unnecessary prologue set in California in 1932, the storyline stretches from 1916 with Russia getting battered in World War I, and unrest stirring in the streets and ends in 1919, at the end of the Red Terror She begins as an enthusiastic supporter of socialism, as the autocracy of Nicholas II is overthrown and the Bolsheviks seize power, promising peace and bread and power to the workers Her story ends, and is set up for the sequel, with Marina attempting to survive the ruthless process of a revolution eating its own This is a fascinating book in several respects In heft, in weight, in page count, in setting, this puts one in mind of War and Peace or Dr Zhivago especially with the poetry angle But The Revolution of Marina M. mostly eschews a broad canvas The largest part of the drama takes place in and around St Petersburg There are no scenes of battle There are no major set pieces A lot of historical fiction traffics in the ordinary extraordinary character, the man or woman who rises to a position from which history can be viewed An aide to a president, an adjutant of a general In point of fact, these characters, by dint of their access to power, are not really ordinary at all, but extraordinary by definition Here, Marina really is ordinary She isn t Lenin s mistress or Trotsky s proofreader She never rises in the ranks of the reds Accordingly, the perspective is very limited We only learn what Marina learns, and Marina only learns what she can read in the newspapers, hear on the streets, or learn from gossip and hearsay This makes a tough on a reader who doesn t at leave have a historical framework to use as a point of reference Still, I thought it was incredibly refreshing I get so exhausted with the tired cameos of famous personages trotted out by hack authors searching for authenticity I don t mean to single out Ken Follett, but his Century Trilogy is a great example of lazily conceived historical figures used as a shortcut to verisimilitude Finch neatly avoids that pitfall by avoiding real life characters with the exception of some speeches that Marina attends The choice of Marina as the narrator is also inspired, though it may toy with your expectations She is not the usual hero you find in stories such as this She is not a soldier She does not march into the thick of the action Her ties to the revolution are tenuous, mostly driven by her youthful passions and lusts She spends far time gauging potential sexual conquests than she does reading Engels or Marx Finch definitely plays with the double standard for female characters who are viewed as sluts if they pursue sex, in comparison to a male characters who is simply doing what men do I am on the record as disliking first person narrators, for a number of reasons I feel like it compresses a novel s scope It is stingy, in that it only allows us the viewpoint of one person, rather than a swath of humanity Here, it also decreases a lot of tension From the beginning, we know that Marina survives the Russian Revolution hence the disutility of that prologue No matter what kind of scrapes Marina gets into and there are plenty we know she will ultimately be relatively okay The first person narrator has the ultimate plot armor the armor of a person who is fated to survive Nevertheless, Marina proves an exceedingly interesting Virgil of the Bolshevik coup She is not always likeable Indeed, she can be terribly unlikable, meaning she is a representative sixteen year old She can be vain, selfish, self centered, arrogant, fatuous, and breathtakingly disloyal I m reading Gone With the Wind right now, and there are shades of Scarlett O Hara in Marina To Finch s credit, she understands that Marina is not always a great human being She also uses Marina s gender to explore topics beyond those usually found in historical fiction The Revolution of Marina M. is filled with meditations on womanhood, on youth and aging, on the different ways the world views you based on your sex Speaking of sex, there is a lot of it It is super graphic Some of it is tender Some of it is passionate Some of it is sick There is one scene of sexual violence in particular that is tough to read though it s tough to read because it is so powerfully presented The Revolution of Marina M. has a Dickensian way of populating its world with brilliant supporting characters None of them have great depth or dimension, because we never get inside their heads But, like Dickens, they tend to burn with memorable intensity There is Ukashin, a charismatic cult leader Arkady, a merciless smuggler into SM and Anton, a hilariously dour anarchist living in a squalid commune Even the briefest players tend to get at least a single memorable moment For instance, there is an exceptional little scene in which Marina s parents have tea with two aging relatives who are about to escape abroad One of the relatives, Cousin Masha, is incisively drawn as a small homely woman with the rabid self righteousness of someone who d taken up plainness as a cause The best historical fiction goes where the historical record does not It helps us to know what history felt like, looked like, smelled like Finch has a keenness for describing scents For example, I recently read a book about Rasputin, which described the Mad Monk s controversial proclivity for mixed sex bathing in bathhouses The book, though, never gave me a clue about what a bathhouse was or what role it played in Russian communities Finch, though, takes us right inside, with a vivid description Twenty, twenty five naked women crowded together in a large wet wooden washroom A hideously fat woman scrubbed her neighbor s bony back A toothless granny held up the flab of her stomach to get at her hairless henshichinost Wrinkled, contorted feminine forms of every variety I wanted to run for the door, but I d already paid my hard earned ruble The sight of them blistered my eyes I d seen a hundred paintings entitled In the Bath, where rosy beauties waded knee deep in picturesque rivers and washed their long hair Brown soap never appeared in Rubens This was the thing itself, the squalor of human life Age and decay It was one thing to see bent backs under brown shawls, sagging stomachs faintly suggested by full dresses, breasts swinging low under bodices and aprons, genitals quite invisible, and another to see them revealed in their horrific variety Bodies covered with wounds, with sores, rashes, bruises, welts, and worse Bandages kicked into a corner This one expanded like overyeasted bread That one contracted like a fallen souffl Emptied out, gouged like clay, clawed, bruised, imprinted with the devastation of gravity and years I used to be a part of the best book club that ever existed The Eastern Nebraska Men s Biblio Social Club Some of my best friends, some of the best people I ve ever met, were part of that club But I wouldn t have recommended this I loved this book, but it is a tough sell The views are polarized, to say the least I am objective enough to note the flaws The prose can get incredibly purplish and overheated one can only groan when Marina describes her hoo haw as the plush of my Venus moun The dialogue can be pretty bad, studded with phrases that seem anachronistic Marina herself can be insufferable at times For someone as plucky as she is, imbued with the survivors sense, she makes really dumb decisions, decisions that are dictated by the need to get her from one adventure to the next The good, I feel, vastly overwhelms the bad For every leaden line of exposition, there is a graphic and visceral visit to the execution rooms of the Cheka For every sex scene that maybe gets a bit too florid, there is a heart stopping sequence that puts a face, an emotion, to one of the largest crimes in history There is, for example, a moment when Marina describes the death of a child from dysentery, as his astronomer father watches helplessly The child had been convulsing, become too weak to drink The water seeped out from between his lips Then it was over Have you ever heard a man sob for love of a child Have you seen his tears I stood aside and let him crouch between them He d studied the stars, but everything he loved was lying right here on this earth So, no, I would not recommend this to my former book club I won t recommend it to you However, I m in a new book club now It s called the Metro Link Book Club of One And when I read The Revolution of Marina M., it did what the rarest books do It took me off the noisy, clattering, shuddering train, and it brought me somewhere else For a time, I lived in Marina s world I read for those moments flag 80 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Aug 30, 2017 Lauren rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves botm club, fiction, historical fiction, politics and government, first reads and arcs, 2017 This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I m grateful to BOTM for sending me an ARC of this book I have to say, I feel like the only person in the world who didn t fall head over heels for this novel I loved White Oleander, and I fully expected the same clarity of voice, the same forward drive of the story as Fitch displayed in her seminal work Unfortunately, all of that was completely lacking for me I found the story rambled from chapter to chapter, and while Fitch did an EXTRAORDINARY job relating the events and feelings of the R I m grateful to BOTM for sending me an ARC of this book I have to say, I feel like the only person in the world who didn t fall head over heels for this novel I loved White Oleander, and I fully expected the same clarity of voice, the same forward drive of the story as Fitch displayed in her seminal work Unfortunately, all of that was completely lacking for me I found the story rambled from chapter to chapter, and while Fitch did an EXTRAORDINARY job relating the events and feelings of the Russian Revolution, her extensive research and the historical aspect were the only things that got me through 800 pages of zero character development Marina s transition from a bourgeoisie to a Bolshevik really isn t a transition at all, because throughout the entire book, she simply follows and echoes other people s thoughts and actions Her words are empty, her actions are meaningless, and she never fully developed into her own woman at least not for me Her CONSTANT drivel over Kolya, and then Genya, and then Kolya again seriously made me want to throw the book against the wall and scream ENOUGH She never learns any lessons, she s completely faithless, and though she pantomimes regret, it s completely disingenuous And the Rasputin esque cult at the end Seriously I almost laughed out loud It made zero sense and contributed to the forward progress in no way whatsoever I understand that this is meant to have a sequel I will not be reading it flag 43 likesLike see review Sep 17, 2017 Amy Yingling rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves fiction, read in 2017, historical fiction, ya, 5 stars So soon after reading The Heart s Invisible Furies by John Boyne I really didn t see myself being able to sit down and ingest another long and emotionally charged saga a girl needs to recharge between such books, they are awesome but mentally and physically draining But the book gods sometimes throw two such books at you so close together and of course I just couldn t help myself, who needs sleep and tissues are on sale since it s Winter, so I m covered I love everything Russian well at lea So soon after reading The Heart s Invisible Furies by John Boyne I really didn t see myself being able to sit down and ingest another long and emotionally charged saga a girl needs to recharge between such books, they are awesome but mentally and physically draining But the book gods sometimes throw two such books at you so close together and of course I just couldn t help myself, who needs sleep and tissues are on sale since it s Winter, so I m covered I love everything Russian well at least the Russia parts that are considered Russian history so when I read the summary for The Revolution of Marina M and knew I just had to have my face in its pages as soon as possible and when I found myself there I was never in doubt that I had made the right choice in picking it up Fitch s historical detail to this work of fiction is incredible and is the tell tale sign of a great work of historical fiction is how much of the real history of it all can the author work into this fictional story and Fitch hit the nail on the head with this one.Character development is again spot on, when I think back to this time in history these are the sorts of people I would imagine seeing or knowing if I could time travel, sigh I got giddy as a school girl when Marina found love and boy did she find some love I was outraged in how people treated her and how she treated a certain poet I felt her optimism for change, but it did seem to get her into a lot of trouble, teenagers So I cried Serozha , I wanted to punch than one character, but particularly Varvara and Marina s dad I just got really involved in the characters and the way their lives unfolded in the story line I will not be patiently waiting for the second half of this book because I just won t be able to get this story out of my head it has been almost a week since I read it and I m still thinking in my head about what I think will happen in the next part of the story the anticipation is killer.I would recommend this to anyone that loves long and sweeping sagas of historical fiction and if you love literature about Russia you ll want to run not walk to your nearest library bookstore flag 43 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Jan 13, 2018 Helene Jeppesen rated it really liked it review of another edition End of Book 1 I only just now realized that this epic story is not the end of our journey together with Marina M I m not exactly sure how to feel about that, but for now let s just focus on this the first book The Revolution of Marina M is the story of Marina growing up in Russia and going through her own revolution parallelled to the Russian revolution of 1917 Marina is a dynamic character who starts out as a giggly, studious and passionate girl growing up in the aristocracy of Petrogr End of Book 1 I only just now realized that this epic story is not the end of our journey together with Marina M I m not exactly sure how to feel about that, but for now let s just focus on this the first book The Revolution of Marina M is the story of Marina growing up in Russia and going through her own revolution parallelled to the Russian revolution of 1917 Marina is a dynamic character who starts out as a giggly, studious and passionate girl growing up in the aristocracy of Petrograd However, she ends up as a completely different girl, devastated and changed for life by the ongoing revolution This book comes with beautiful language that oftentimes took my breath away I think that the chapters that worked the best were the chapters in which the author zooms in on the characters or a dialogue or an event taking place in Marina s life, whereas the chapters that give you an overview of the time and the society were a bit weaker But some scenes were amazing I have to say that a few scenes are extremely vivid and not for the faint hearted, but those were also the scenes that made the biggest impact on me.This book is long It will provide you with many hours together with our heroine Marina But in the end, it s worth the whole as it provides you with both an insight into the Russian revolution, but also with an amazing story about growing up amongst chaos and passions flag 39 likesLike see review Sep 03, 2017 Lindsey rated it it was ok review of another edition Shelves fiction, reviews Oof I love Janet Fitch so this is a hard review to write but this book was painfully dull I started with high hopes Marina is a very likable character and the Russian revolution is a vibrant and electric setting for a coming of age story The beginning of the novel was well done, with our young heroine naively living the good life, sharing her expectations for her future, engaging in a youthful love affair, dreaming of a fancy life with her friends And then everything goes to shit, literally Oof I love Janet Fitch so this is a hard review to write but this book was painfully dull I started with high hopes Marina is a very likable character and the Russian revolution is a vibrant and electric setting for a coming of age story The beginning of the novel was well done, with our young heroine naively living the good life, sharing her expectations for her future, engaging in a youthful love affair, dreaming of a fancy life with her friends And then everything goes to shit, literally By the second hundred pages I was already feeling the slog There was so Much Detail It filled every sentence, paragraph, and page I know Janet Fitch did an extensive amount of research for this novel, which I appreciate, but I didn t need every bit of it included in the novel That s not an exaggeration She included everything, in a bad way Marina became the narrator of events that only marginally related to her and did nothing to forward her story, which is the story I wanted to read Instead Marina s story was like a pantomime, a one dimensional composite of the experiences of the people during the revolution It wasn t complex or interesting, it made for flat storytelling, and even flatter character development Marina was just the lens through which Janet Fitch wrote what she really wanted, which was a history of the Russian revolution She should have just done that and skipped the fiction part It would have made for a better read.I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review flag 24 likesLike see review View all 7 comments Apr 16, 2018 Roman Clodia rated it it was ok review of another edition 350 pages into an 800 page tome and I m throwing in the towel on this one Want to know what it s like It s as if Twilight s Bella Swan were put down in St Petersburg in 1917 she wants oh so desperately to be a revolutionary despite, or because of, her bourgeois, super comfortable background but in reality all she can do is shuttle between her two love interests, wringing her hands and wittering on about Kolya s hairy chest and honey scentI should have known from the start when we have a 350 pages into an 800 page tome and I m throwing in the towel on this one Want to know what it s like It s as if Twilight s Bella Swan were put down in St Petersburg in 1917 she wants oh so desperately to be a revolutionary despite, or because of, her bourgeois, super comfortable background but in reality all she can do is shuttle between her two love interests, wringing her hands and wittering on about Kolya s hairy chest and honey scentI should have known from the start when we have an overly schematic set up three girls, one blonde, one brunette, one redhead one a science geek, one a revolutionary, one a wannabe poet she self publishes her first volume of poetry at 16 sheesh And the two love interests are an aristocratic Army officer he of the hairy chest and honey scent and a working class poet Could you get any clich d Well, yes, because soon Marina chops off her hair and masquerades as a boyFitch apparently spent 10 years researching and writing this and, to be fair, there s a good background to the events of the Revolution Sadly, though, it s just that background The foreground is Marina s ridiculous story It s just impossible to believe, for example, that a well brought up 16 year old schoolgirl is free to roam around St Petersburg alone having secret sex in various bedrooms not just is it 1917, but there s a war on, and a Revolution brewing on the streets, but our Marina still manages to get felt up erotically in a sleigh I have been very accommodating, I feel, with this book, hoping that Marina would grow up, drop the insta love not just once, but twice and become a serious narrator but nearly halfway through and she s still just silly So I m cutting my losses which is a shame Only after starting this did I find out from other reviews that this 800 page volume is the first of two Marina s sexual odyssey through the Revolution is going to have to continue without me, I fear flag 21 likesLike see review View all 7 comments Jul 01, 2018 Erin Clemence rated it liked it review of another edition I am so grateful this novel is finished I actually committed my Sunday night of a long, holiday weekend no less into finishing this book I was too far along to DNF it and I have so many exciting novels to get to Needless to say, mission accomplished I am a huge fan of Janet Fitch, in general White Oleander and Paint it Black are both poignant and powerful novels that gripped me from the first page The only thing these two novels have in common with Fitch s new endeavour, The Re I am so grateful this novel is finished I actually committed my Sunday night of a long, holiday weekend no less into finishing this book I was too far along to DNF it and I have so many exciting novels to get to Needless to say, mission accomplished I am a huge fan of Janet Fitch, in general White Oleander and Paint it Black are both poignant and powerful novels that gripped me from the first page The only thing these two novels have in common with Fitch s new endeavour, The Revolution of Marina M , was the strong, female protagonist In St Petersburg, during the early 2oth century, Marina Makarova is a young girl of sixteen, desperate to break free from the constraints of her rich and privileged life Marina joins forces with revolutionaries, falls in love with a poet, and defies her parents at every turn which leads to them, eventually, disowning and abandoning her While the war goes on around her and the countryside she is used to changes so drastically, Marina now must reinvent herself in a world she no longer recognizes The character of Marina is wonderful Strong and stubborn while still being vulnerable, Marina embodies the female protagonist that Fitch is known for Marina struggles through heartbreak, betrayal and violence, all while living in an unstable country rife with war and death Revolution itself was not all bad Parts of it were entertaining and I was invested enough in Marina s character to be interested in the outcome The novel is definitely historical fiction, and although this is normally a genre I enjoy, this novel was really long and really historical Although this novel did immerse me into St Petersberg, Russia, during wartime a situation I am not learned in which allowed me to learn a few things, the characters were plentiful, and when they all have Russian names and reappear at different points in the novel, long after I had forgotten their initial appearance , it was often difficult to follow the plot Fitch is definitely a talented writer, and this novel is most assuredly well researched However, it could have done with fewer pages and fewer characters A sequel is in the works and that is absolutely unnecessary, as Marina s story could very easily have been finished within the 800 pages the novel provides Overall, the character of Marina will win over hearts as she struggles to maintain her independence as a female in 20th century Russia However, the novel was just too long and I was excited to finish it than I have been with any other book in quite some time flag 16 likesLike see review View all 10 comments Feb 12, 2018 Dean Cummings rated it it was amazing review of another edition There are points in one s life where it s possible to turn back, and we know them when they come, even when we don t choose to take that option It is at the halfway point of the book that Marina Makarova makes this statement, but even as I read it, I already knew her as a young woman who burns with a blazing inner intensity.Some rely on reason when making crucial life decisions, others gravitate to the safe and predictable answers, and of course there are those who allow others to make most o There are points in one s life where it s possible to turn back, and we know them when they come, even when we don t choose to take that option It is at the halfway point of the book that Marina Makarova makes this statement, but even as I read it, I already knew her as a young woman who burns with a blazing inner intensity.Some rely on reason when making crucial life decisions, others gravitate to the safe and predictable answers, and of course there are those who allow others to make most of their decisions for them whether they may realize it or not As I got to know Marina, I realized she was different it is her passions, than anything else that guide her for Marina, it is the person, cause or situation that most aggressively stokes the fire burning within her that ultimately determines which way she will turn, which path she will take As the story unfolds, Janet Fitch takes care to remind us that Marina is a soulfully sexual creature We learn this not only from her encounters, but also her thoughts, memories and even the kind of person she dreams of being with This part of Marina s character is very well developed and seems to be a good fit for her as I considered the force of her personality, and the unrestrained and raging circumstances surrounding her This part of Marina s life causes her some of the greatest pleasures and joys and also the greatest heartbreak, loneliness, and even terror A kind of passion barometer for her As the chapters flew by, I found myself wishing happiness for her in her love life, somehow guessing that fulfillment in this area would prove to be a kind of charm that would cast warm light into the other dark corners of her life.One of Marina s character strengths is how consistently she exhibits these hot blooded traits as the story unfolds She s true to herself, even though she often does this by instinct It affects all areas of her life, her creativity expressed through poetry , her work life, her relationship with her family, her politics, her friendships, her interests, even, as mentioned, her romantic relationships As a result, she finds herself in a variety of fantastic situations, side by side with characters who range from eccentric, to peculiar, to compassionate and absolutely horrifying And as if Marina isn t intriguing enough on her own, her spellbinding story occurs right in the eye of the political hurricane of one of the most tumultuous political, social and cultural upheavals in world history As impressive as all of this is, it still wasn t the best part What I really appreciated is that I believed all of it Even as amazing as it all was, it still felt authentic and genuine In my opinion, it is rare to find a story that combines all of these elements, in the case of this book, everything was woven together so incredibly well and each episode logically followed the other This book was 800 pages long, but I enjoyed every part of it, and, in the end it felt as though it was so much shorter Great characters and an unforgettable story I highly recommend Janet Fitch s The Revolution of Marina M flag 16 likesLike see review View all 4 comments Jun 07, 2017 lp rated it it was amazing review of another edition I fell in love with Marina M the book and the character The research Janet Fitch must have done She has great ability to make this character relatable Marina M had experiences and thoughts that I felt were torn from my teenage diary The book is long but the story is fast paced, it takes you on a really fun journey I was reading it at the same time I was watching THE AMERICANS, which I felt enhanced it Thank you for this book, Janet I m so glad to have another book from you, and this exce I fell in love with Marina M the book and the character The research Janet Fitch must have done She has great ability to make this character relatable Marina M had experiences and thoughts that I felt were torn from my teenage diary The book is long but the story is fast paced, it takes you on a really fun journey I was reading it at the same time I was watching THE AMERICANS, which I felt enhanced it Thank you for this book, Janet I m so glad to have another book from you, and this exceeded my expectations flag 16 likesLike see review View 1 comment Jul 15, 2017 Ruth rated it it was amazing review of another edition Edit I had originally said it was 4.5 stars due to the abrupt ending but the ARC I was reading didn t indicate that it s actually part 1 of a 2 part series Definitely the full 5 I actually savored it and read it slowly even though I was dying to know what was coming because I was captivated all throughout It is an excellent read and has me wanting to read about life during the Russian revolution Although the life and background of Marina are vastly different, I could still see a little Edit I had originally said it was 4.5 stars due to the abrupt ending but the ARC I was reading didn t indicate that it s actually part 1 of a 2 part series Definitely the full 5 I actually savored it and read it slowly even though I was dying to know what was coming because I was captivated all throughout It is an excellent read and has me wanting to read about life during the Russian revolution Although the life and background of Marina are vastly different, I could still see a little Astrid and Josie in her flag 15 likesLike see review View all 5 comments Nov 04, 2017 Kate Olson rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves adult reads, advanced reader copies So, this book I m settling on 3.5 stars, although I know won t honor the half Thanks to Little Brown for the ARC of the title I dedicated 6 days of my life to all 804 pages of it and am attempting to pull all of my thoughts togetherd then I read the and BookPage interviews with the author that explains that this is book 1 of 2 volumes, and that muddled all of my previous thoughts I really wonder why that wasn t heavily publicized Ultimately, I m glad I re So, this book I m settling on 3.5 stars, although I know won t honor the half Thanks to Little Brown for the ARC of the title I dedicated 6 days of my life to all 804 pages of it and am attempting to pull all of my thoughts togetherd then I read the and BookPage interviews with the author that explains that this is book 1 of 2 volumes, and that muddled all of my previous thoughts I really wonder why that wasn t heavily publicized Ultimately, I m glad I read this book because it was a perfect slow down from the frenetic reading schedule I have been on lately And although it drove me crazy at times and I wanted to shake Marina at times, I grew to care deeply about what happened to her and how her story ended.I don t want to include spoilers here, so I ll just do bullet pointed ramblings I can not begin to critique the historical accuracy of the story given my limited knowledge of this historical setting and events, but from what is said in the interviews, Fitch spent a large amount of time IN Russia researching this book and met with historical experts in Russia to ensure things are accurate I was fascinated with the political and historical storylines, although I honestly couldn t keep everything straight I didn t let my confusion bog me down, though, and just resolved to read about this time period There is a LOT of sex in this book Lots of graphic sex I think the NYT Review says it best For all her progressive defiance, Marina is still treated by the politically empowered men in her life as merely an object for degradation the details of which are perhaps a little crass even for the most jaded reader She is sexually empowered because she acknowledges her desires and seeks out satisfaction, butoh my LORD does she get imprisoned and taken advantage of by horrible men so so so so so often I would have given this 5 stars based on the first 670 pages However, pages 671 800 were WAY trippy and out there and took this story in a direction that I in no way saw coming or wanted to have occur If had been editing this book, I would have strongly, strongly recommended that this strange storyline either change or be completely left out of the book, but of course, that s just me I do know the length of the book overall will probably deter some readers The fact that I stuck with the book is impressive given its length, so there is a lot to be said for the author s storytelling and the sense of suspense she built especially given the prologue in Carmel, CA in 1932 I read feverishly at times to figure out how the hell she got there However, without knowing ahead of time that there is supposed to be a volume 2 and it appears neither did any of the major trade reviewers , I almost threw this book out the window when I got to the ending My final verdict will have to be given once I read the next book, I guessIf you are into doorstop historical epics, you may enjoy this one If you love Russian history, pick this up If you want a satisfying ending to your untold hours of readingybe wait until you know for sure that volume 2 is on its way flag 15 likesLike see review Nov 12, 2017 Sabrina added it review of another edition Shelves 500 or pages, books by women, historical fiction, read in 2017 Should I DNF a book at 600 pages This is the question I am currently facing.Ultimately, despite how much time I have devoted to this book, I m going to answer yes I was loving it for the first quarter, but at three quarters of the way through, I don t care very much for what is happening and I do not feel motivated to continue I really like the juxtaposition of the coming of age story and the birth of the Russian Revolution I find how Janet Fitch weaves the history into Marina s life to be c Should I DNF a book at 600 pages This is the question I am currently facing.Ultimately, despite how much time I have devoted to this book, I m going to answer yes I was loving it for the first quarter, but at three quarters of the way through, I don t care very much for what is happening and I do not feel motivated to continue I really like the juxtaposition of the coming of age story and the birth of the Russian Revolution I find how Janet Fitch weaves the history into Marina s life to be compelling and interesting However, I feel like this novel is too long, and Marina s insistence on repeating the same mistakes over and over are growing a bit tiresome They don t feel genuine, especially coming off the heels of several extremely graphic scenes of torture and sexual violence I am done.I loved White Oleander so so much, perhaps my expectations for this were just too high flag 14 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Sep 12, 2017 Aura rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves historical fiction, russia Spoiler alert I just finished this 1100 page beauty of a book after 48 hour holiday reading bender I have been with Marina through her father, Genya, the archangel, Varvara, Volya and Ukashin, all these people who want to tell this independent, smart, free spirit of a girl what or who she should be I just got to the last page of this sweeping lovely scary addictive story and I want resolution to the revolution of Marina M Yet, I get to the end to find end of book 1 The author is wor Spoiler alert I just finished this 1100 page beauty of a book after 48 hour holiday reading bender I have been with Marina through her father, Genya, the archangel, Varvara, Volya and Ukashin, all these people who want to tell this independent, smart, free spirit of a girl what or who she should be I just got to the last page of this sweeping lovely scary addictive story and I want resolution to the revolution of Marina M Yet, I get to the end to find end of book 1 The author is working on Book 2 What frustration This is how I know I am reading a fantastic book I want to know I need to know now I want Marina to succeed Historical fiction when it is done right, feels like this It is sweeping and grand It is personal and emotional I love this book and I hope many of you make the leap and read this 1100 page treasure BTW, I won this book from in exchange for an honest review but I would have gladly paid the cover price flag 12 likesLike see review View 1 comment Jul 08, 2017 Taryn marked it as abandoned review of another edition Shelves top to read, received from publisher, netgalley DNF 20% loc 2464 I enjoyed the history and politics Sixteen year old Marina was bland and insufferable I was far interested in her revolutionary friend Varvara When Marina meets up with the poet Genya, and I found out this was just Book 1 of 2, I realized that I couldn t spend 600 pages with her She s an empty vessel who flits from one thing to another On an emotional level, I didn t understand how she became so eager to shed her privilege and why she was so invested in overt DNF 20% loc 2464 I enjoyed the history and politics Sixteen year old Marina was bland and insufferable I was far interested in her revolutionary friend Varvara When Marina meets up with the poet Genya, and I found out this was just Book 1 of 2, I realized that I couldn t spend 600 pages with her She s an empty vessel who flits from one thing to another On an emotional level, I didn t understand how she became so eager to shed her privilege and why she was so invested in overthrowing the system She doesn t come across as an overly empathetic person I appreciated a similar story arc with wealthy girl turned revolutionary Jisun in Everything Belongs to Us, especially in contrast with her poor friend Namin who didn t want to be saved It s possible that everything falls into place as the story continues, but I stopped caring before I had a chance to find out The writing is beautiful and the time period is fascinating, so I might try this again if the mood strikes.____________I received this book for free from NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review It s available now flag 12 likesLike see review View all 9 comments Oct 05, 2017 Francesca rated it it was amazing review of another edition Janet Fitch is a little pretentious and so are her characters, but, like, in an endearing way This is an over simplification but Marina is like a Russian Astrid and the book itself is like a Russian lit version of White Oleander Family, love, abuse, with the added intrigue of Russian history It s a huge book but doesn t feel huge Recommended for anyone with a big imagination and a need to snuggle into a book like a bear hibernating in winter flag 10 likesLike see review Nov 13, 2017 Ella rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves favorites, possible book club selections, big books OK much to say.I think this is the wordiest review I have ever written,so here goes.When I started writing this review, I had no idea there will be a sequel This was one very long and beautifully written and well researched book about the Russian revolution, which has been in the making for over 10 years, wow It helped a lot that I was born and raised in Leningrad I know it is St Petersburg now, but I was born and raised in Leningrad , and all the neighborhoods are fami OK much to say.I think this is the wordiest review I have ever written,so here goes.When I started writing this review, I had no idea there will be a sequel This was one very long and beautifully written and well researched book about the Russian revolution, which has been in the making for over 10 years, wow It helped a lot that I was born and raised in Leningrad I know it is St Petersburg now, but I was born and raised in Leningrad , and all the neighborhoods are familiar to me, which felt like I was walking them again with this book The poetry, the beautiful poetry, the breathtaking poetry not sure if it has the same soul when translated I remember them all by memory, we all have the poetry imbedded in our memories since we are little little kids And the Russian words transliterated into English, were probably hard to read and get the full meaning, unless one is fluent in Russian So, with all above said, I had the privilege to enjoy the book immensely, and now I cannot wait for book 2 to be published I wonder why that wasn t heavily publicized I facilitate a few book clubs, and might add this one to the book list I wonder if the ladies in my groups will love me or hate me for adding a very lengthy book, but I will take that chance flag 9 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Aug 12, 2017 Nancy rated it it was amazing review of another edition I would have given it 5 stars, but I hate books that end like that.Amendment Love this book and can t wait for the sequel flag 9 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Dec 03, 2017 Mary Rakow rated it it was amazing review of another edition Janet Fitch is generous to writers and generous to her readers This is most apparent in her newly released third novel, The Revolution of Marina M which interweaves the Russian Revolution and the personal journey of the protagonist, a young poet Marina If you start books the way I do, and read the Acknowledgments first, you ll see the depth of original research in Russia and the States that gives rigor and authenticity to this tale And if you then open somewhere in the middle, say, on p 409 Janet Fitch is generous to writers and generous to her readers This is most apparent in her newly released third novel, The Revolution of Marina M which interweaves the Russian Revolution and the personal journey of the protagonist, a young poet Marina If you start books the way I do, and read the Acknowledgments first, you ll see the depth of original research in Russia and the States that gives rigor and authenticity to this tale And if you then open somewhere in the middle, say, on p 409, you ll see the immediate world so concrete it doesn t seem fictive where flour is measured into a sack sewn from a pair of Mother s underwear and hung from Marina s belt inside her coat, and the absence of tools makes life difficult, though nails were easy Every bit of wood came with some all you had to do was burn it Everyone s bourgeoika stove was full of them Winter s here the perfect season to enter Marina s world Enjoy flag 6 likesLike see review View all 9 comments Jun 17, 2018 Louise rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves fiction, russia fic lit I ve just spent a week in the throes of Marina M s revolution What a rollicking ride it has been.Janet Fitch has made remarkable use of research, describing the 1916 19 streetscapes of the Russian Revolution and the technical aspects of everything from photography to railroads She shows you how the black markets work and how the revolution came to villages She can describe a room, a forest, clothing and a table like no other Fitch can also write poetry that might be typical of what young poe I ve just spent a week in the throes of Marina M s revolution What a rollicking ride it has been.Janet Fitch has made remarkable use of research, describing the 1916 19 streetscapes of the Russian Revolution and the technical aspects of everything from photography to railroads She shows you how the black markets work and how the revolution came to villages She can describe a room, a forest, clothing and a table like no other Fitch can also write poetry that might be typical of what young poets of the time created and poems that perfectly fit the mood and experience of the heroine In the first half of the book, I wondered how the Best of lists of 2017 missed this book The depiction of Marina s life as a poetry loving teen in a bourgeoisie home, her rebellious friend, her first sexual experience, her emotions in the demonstrations, her father s work with the Kerensky government and her first visit to her reappropriated home are literature The second half devolves into something like a female picaresque without the humor There is an overly sordid captivity, an unbelievable respite and reconnections with her parents that don t fit their original profiles With the exception of the episodes as Marina experiences village life, the second half does not rise to the level of the first.Despite the weaknesses I stayed glued even through the inordinately long 150 pages experience with a Gurdjieff style commune Janet Fitch is the ultimate story teller throughout This book covers 1916 19, but begins in 1932 in California I will most likely read book 2 to see how Marina M got to Carmel by the Sea flag 6 likesLike see review Nov 06, 2017 Vanessa marked it as to read review of another edition Shelves adult fiction, historical fiction, to buy translated, book fair in may I CAN T BELIEVE THAT ALL MY FAVOURITE AUTHORS ARE COMING BACK THIS YEARJanet Fitch writing a massive novel about Russian Revolution I may cry excuse me flag 6 likesLike see review Sep 06, 2017 Lolly K Dandeneau rated it really liked it review of another edition via my blog My younger self looks up She senses me there in the room, a vague but troubling presence, I swear she catches a glimpse of me in the windows reflection the woman from the future, neither young nor old, bathed in grief and compromise, wearing her own two eyes A shudder passes through her as a draft One of my favorite books of all time is White Oleander by Janet Fitch, which I intend to review and post here, as I read it recently again For n via my blog My younger self looks up She senses me there in the room, a vague but troubling presence, I swear she catches a glimpse of me in the windows reflection the woman from the future, neither young nor old, bathed in grief and compromise, wearing her own two eyes A shudder passes through her as a draft One of my favorite books of all time is White Oleander by Janet Fitch, which I intend to review and post here, as I read it recently again For now, it s time to finally post my review With this, her fresh new novel, the reader gets inside the mind of Marina Makarova, a privileged young woman who wants to free herself from the demands of polite society History is going to grant her wish for freedom, poetry and love but on the precipice of becoming a woman, everything she imagines as adventurous and beautiful will be anything but.Ripe for the picking, seduced by poetry of the moment, to young Marina, the Russian revolution goes against everything her family stands for, and it beckons to her young, wild heart Headstrong to a fault, first she is all Kolya s Shurov s and in losing her innocence wants to shed the role of well bred school girl He has stirred her passions, opened her to the erotic Where her family is loyal to country, Marina is concerned about the starving workers, but doesn t really notice how far she is from ever understanding such a life The first dissension between the lovers, the question of honor, and the reality of dying for a cause one doesn t believe in takes root Kolya returns to his regiment, Mina soothes her but it s the fire in her friend Varvara that changes her fate Witness to massacre, the rise of mutiny, and the start of revolution Marina is entrenched in the changing world Tying herself to the threat of danger in Varvara cannot be helped and her friend won t let her flirt with an idea, one is either all in or out.Marina falls in with poets, and Gena Kuriakin in particular To think that as she lived in another world, and never noticed him nor his group of poets, how much of the times she had truly been cut off from in her cushy place She and her family, everything Gena would despise, the shame of it all Marina is awakening, but she is led every which way, sadly by her heart than her head, still cursed by the stupidity of youth and naivete Beside Gena the reality of poverty shocks her with a death, and leads to her father s fury All those years of care and you throw yourself away with both hands Though it s an old story, a young woman growing out from under her father s vision of her as virginal, with the country going to war with it s sisters and brothers, overthrowing one s own family can be fatal There are many times the reader is irritated by her carelessness too Marina has far choices than the others, whose fights she longs to shoulder as her own Naturally, her father is just as wrong, having faith in honorable men who would and have soiled her as much as a hooligan would Her gentle brother Seryozha is forced into a life like their elder brother Volodya, an officer away and fighting Though he is an artist than a fighter, it could make a man of him yet, or see him to an early grave, and for her father s belief in honor, she is horrified to see her beloved youngest brother sacrificed As much as she no longer believes in the war, she has blinders when it comes to those without privilege When discussing Keats with Lyuda, when she is sent away, He doesn t believe in the war Lyuda tells her Who does, it s just our lot can t get away with it Throughout the novel, she is exposed because as much as she has fight in her blood, she isn t suffering the way the workers and peasants do, bowed by the work they must do to keep the likes of her fat and fed She is still playing a part, until grief becomes reality.She betrays everyone, and by her own hand loses everything for the Bolsheviks, for love The best moments happen when women wiser than her laugh at her Because she really doesn t know half as much about life and men as they do On page 264, the women act as a mirror and it s my favorite moment of clarity for Marina, who has spent so much time thinking herself separate from all the other doomed women She wanted life, and her it is in all it s horrifying glory.Marina returns to find her mother, to save her, even while having aided in bringing down her life People hate the bourgeoisie, period Her mother says, and it really is a country of peasants done with having the dainty feet of the rich pining them down I don t know nearly enough about Russian history, I ve read books, I ve listened to different elders in my family well schooled in European history and still I was learning as I went along Starvation, poverty, spilled blood, honor and loyalty verses change, the reader gets to be a fly on the corpse of history for a time Marina is frustrating, because I am reading her coming of age when I myself am older and therefore her green ideas seem so far away and yet, she is perfectly written because of those youthful flaws.Part V is my favorite, elders, insect eaters, scientists, it s such a peculiar welcome journey In any Earthly Idyll, time and events will invariably intrude and thus happens while reading this book of 804 pages How does Janet Fitch carry such a story and keep it going Marina is many people in every incident of her life, as we all are She will not get through her changing country without blood on her own hands There are lulls, but I kept reading, I wanted to know how it all turned out The last half of the novel is a strange, dreamlike return to home, a sort of Ionian spell and also an explanation in some ways of why people give up their power and chose to be acolytes to religions, rules, ideas or a leader I ll leave you with that.Available Now Little, Brown and Company flag 5 likesLike see review Dec 24, 2017 Judy rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves 21st century fiction, bad women books, historical fiction, set in russia Do you love Russian literature Do you think an American can measure up in writing a book of historical fiction set in Russia I am here to tell you, she can So many things made this one of the best books I read in 2017 It is a story of the Russian Revolution told through the eyes and heart and mind of a budding teenage poetess I don t think that has been done very often, if ever It is Janet Fitch s homage to Tolstoy, Pushkin and Russian poets.Marina M What a character She explodes and em Do you love Russian literature Do you think an American can measure up in writing a book of historical fiction set in Russia I am here to tell you, she can So many things made this one of the best books I read in 2017 It is a story of the Russian Revolution told through the eyes and heart and mind of a budding teenage poetess I don t think that has been done very often, if ever It is Janet Fitch s homage to Tolstoy, Pushkin and Russian poets.Marina M What a character She explodes and emotes throughout the novel It is as though Astrid from White Oleander and Josie from Paint It Black were merely writing exercises to prepare for the creation of Marina You will either love her to distraction or find her annoying beyond belief She is Bella from Twilight, Katniss from The Hunger Games, torn between two men but with the intellectual and political soul of the Russian greats She is a poet, dangerously sensuous, daring, plucky, and ultimately as brave and resourceful as any male hero She is only 16 at the beginning of the story and 19 at the end.There is much to this novel though than romance and heroics It is a study in revolution with all its counterparts idealism, too rapid change, violence, suffering, political infighting The age old conundrum of how to upset a fixed order, how to create a just society, what it actually takes to run a country and a society, freedom, oppression, and all those gray areas where crime takes advantage of disorder to profit All told from the viewpoint of one of the people, not the leaders.Although I suppose I knew better, I realized that all my life I have thought of revolution as an event that takes place over a few days I realized that, like getting the news from sound bites and twitter posts, revolutions are taught by means of the definitive event The Boston Tea Party, The Storming of the Bastille, The Abdication of Czar Nicolas II, etc, etc.In fact, a revolution takes years As does a revolution in one s personal life There is the day you walk out, of a family, a job, a marriage, but the new life you are trying to build takes years to come about and your former life trails you like a ghost or a nightmare.There were countless women who participated in the changes from the Czarist autocracy of Russia to the Communist regime of the Soviet Union There were as many female poets in 1917 as there were male The story we have always gotten though is primarily male, from the leaders to the poets to the writers Of course Janet Fitch has elevated herself, in my opinion, to the ranks of those women who tell their own stories and the stories of their female predecessors Like Svetlana Alexievich Voices From Chernobyl , Simone de Beauvoir The Second Sex , and so many With this novel she shows the truth about the personal being the political.I don t predict that many men will read The Revolution of Marina M, or that those who do will totally get it I sincerely hope that many women will read it Even if they find stuff to criticize and being women they will we all know this is a story for us, that gets to the heart and mind of the second sex, that shows the consequences of freedom for us but also for all of humanity.I know It is 800 pages and is only part one of a two volume tale That s fine Do yourself a favor Take a week off and read it This is an extremely subversive work flag 6 likesLike see review View 2 comments Apr 05, 2018 Zulfiya rated it it was amazing review of another edition I am giving it five starts being fully aware that it is a very solid four star read with the exceptional research, and that research deserves than an extra star I was very apprehensive about this novel an American writing a novel about Russia and Russians is always a premise for failure I am Russian, and I know how Americans are different from Russians I am not going to speculate here what culture is better and if there is a cultural cushion in the USA One thing for sure, from my pers I am giving it five starts being fully aware that it is a very solid four star read with the exceptional research, and that research deserves than an extra star I was very apprehensive about this novel an American writing a novel about Russia and Russians is always a premise for failure I am Russian, and I know how Americans are different from Russians I am not going to speculate here what culture is better and if there is a cultural cushion in the USA One thing for sure, from my personal experience, most Americans know only tangentially about their history and literature in the form of chapter names and headlines, so my expectations were low, and I honestly believed that this book would piss me off Then, I watched Janet s interview, and when she said that she had a background in Russian Studies, I was intrigued and decided to give it a try, and what a try it was I am not going to lie I did not physically read the book I listened to it compulsively unputdownably Everything was beautifully and tastily done in this book The narrator s voice was strong and powerful, the reader s choice was ideal a person with the Russian background who can pronounce all those patronymics correctly and without any struggle The amount of the research that the author put into this book deserves a special honorary mention the poets of the Silver Age, the quotations, the names of the revolutionaries and political activists, the location, the cultural lacunae everything in this book was authentically Russian As for the plot, I read the reviews, and some readers were tired of constant trials and tribulations Marina lived through, and they claimed it was unrealistic For the average First World citizen, it is unrealistic, but for Russia, at that time of trouble and massive turmoil, it was true to the T I was quite mad at the reviewers who knew NOTHING about this time and how it changed Russia, and who were claiming that the plot was too much to handle I pity you, dear reviewers You could not handle it on a book level my country physically lived through this turmoil with the families split apart, with the houses lost, with the rich losing power and money and becoming poor and pawning their family heirloom to buy not groceries, but staple grains and some roots to survive It was not uncommon among academia and intelligentsia to have disputes that split families apart In the framework of Russian revolution and Civil War yes, we also had one, and it was devastating than just North vs South War , Marina is a very realistic character She is also a tribute to characters from Tolstoy and Dostoevsky a young girl with the heart as big as her life, full of romantic ideas and quotations from her favorite books The size of the book is also a tribute to Russian literary powerhouses They simply could not write small books That was not a Russian thing to do at that time Many blame the end, and yes, it is a little bit out of touch or so it seems, but then, if read Tolstoy, Checkov, Leskov, and Dostoevsky, you are most definitely familiar with those plot moments when it seems that nothing is resolved or has been resolved yet on a plot level, and the anticlimax and the conclusion are not there yet, but in the vein of Russian tradition, the transcendental epiphany has already happened, and everything and nothing has been resolved for characters Besides, according to Ms Fitch, the story continues, and Marina will keep living this revolution in the second book of this duology flag 5 likesLike see review View 2 comments Dec 04, 2017 J.S Dunn rated it it was ok review of another edition 2.5If sheer weight earned stars, then this might be a 3 or 4 Lots of gushing and hyperbole on the Big Publisher Jacket Copy, donated by Inhouse Authors Eager To Comply Don t you believe it Sometimes the 800 page emperor isn t wearing clothing The tale is a large set piece for telling the history of the soviet revolution of 1916 in a very linear fashion and including bits we might not want to hear Just like castor oil No redemption comes from having a main character who pops up in every pos 2.5If sheer weight earned stars, then this might be a 3 or 4 Lots of gushing and hyperbole on the Big Publisher Jacket Copy, donated by Inhouse Authors Eager To Comply Don t you believe it Sometimes the 800 page emperor isn t wearing clothing The tale is a large set piece for telling the history of the soviet revolution of 1916 in a very linear fashion and including bits we might not want to hear Just like castor oil No redemption comes from having a main character who pops up in every possible setting except a battlefield though wait, there is a sequel coming and the Reds are still fighting the Whites at the end of Vol One Speaking of Reds, this novel curiously made me long to see the film again Just had to throw that in It is definitely the sort of project that makes your mind wander Eventually one resolves to finish it Just like castor oil It would have helped if the narrative voice was truly convincing, but the female protag alternately whines like a modern shopping mall rat and rants like a feminist who cannot get free sanitary products from the comrades, never mind how many comrades get shot When the heroine, Marina, isn t spouting names of Yank authors like Zane Grey or Jack London, she is using modern Yank idioms to express herself Edit on page 360 the author has the heroine refer casually altogether carelessly to a rocket ship Oh dear, that is the wrong World War No rocket ships yet in 1916 Periodically there are a few pages of really awful poetry, perhaps to remind us that the literary agent involved on behalf of Ms Fitch fancies himself to be literary An Oprah pick, you know Don t look for subtlety in the politics or the action Like I said, it s a big book Anyone else care to weigh in pun flag 5 likesLike see review View all 3 comments Sep 24, 2017 Kati Berman rated it it was ok review of another edition I just couldn t get into this book and was not going to invest my time in reading an 800 page book I didn t enjoy It s not often I don t finish a book, but as I get older, I find sometimes you just have to give up So, maybe the two star is unfair, since I didn t finish it flag 5 likesLike see review View 2 comments Dec 28, 2017 Janelle She Reads with Cats rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves historical fiction, from publisher, home library, 2017, to be reviewed Review to come flag 5 likesLike see review Oct 27, 2017 Sarah rated it really liked it review of another edition The research Janet Fitch must have done to write this extraordinary tale is just amazing The novel follows the life of Marina Makarova for roughly 3 years She starts out as a hopeful 16 year girl full of poetry and promise for revolutionary Russia Gradually she gets caught up in revolution and post Tsarist life She transforms from a bourgeois maiden to a Bolshevik spy, to dutiful daughter, and finally survivor She has to survive at any cost and the trials and tribulations she goes through a The research Janet Fitch must have done to write this extraordinary tale is just amazing The novel follows the life of Marina Makarova for roughly 3 years She starts out as a hopeful 16 year girl full of poetry and promise for revolutionary Russia Gradually she gets caught up in revolution and post Tsarist life She transforms from a bourgeois maiden to a Bolshevik spy, to dutiful daughter, and finally survivor She has to survive at any cost and the trials and tribulations she goes through are nothing short of astonishing.The novel is long but wonderful I thought it was interesting that the author choose this time period There seems to be a saturation of WWII novels in the market lately and this was a refreshing change of pace Fitch is able to capture the feelings of post revolutionary Russia and transport the reader to Petrograd She paints such a picture of Russia, that you almost feel as if you are there While Marina is not always likable and certainly makes a lot of mistakes, you never the less root for her and feel for her This is a testament to Janet Fitch s beautiful writing It was interesting to see how Fitch was able to show Marina s progression from devoted revolutionary with hopes for a better future to the demoralizing realization that nothing really changes, the Bolsheviks are the new ruling class As she moves through the stages of true believer to dejected lowly citizen you can t help but feel for those who actually lived this life An accurate description of life in revolutionary Russia I believe Historically speaking, this novel felt spot on I highly recommend for anyone who loves historical fiction, Russian lit or just a great story Thanks to NetGalley for providing and ARC for review flag 3 likesLike see review Dec 16, 2017 Sian Lile Pastore rated it really liked it review of another edition Shelves fiction It took me three weeks but I did it This book is huge, and is all about a young woman during the Russian revolution It reads a little like a classic, but with a contemporary viewpoint kinda like when Sofia Coppola did the Marie Antoinette film It is a big, baggy book that is almost plotless Or there is plot, but it doesn t really go anywhere It s just like we are following someone s life, episode by episode So not much happens in a sense, but also, so much happens I really loved Mar It took me three weeks but I did it This book is huge, and is all about a young woman during the Russian revolution It reads a little like a classic, but with a contemporary viewpoint kinda like when Sofia Coppola did the Marie Antoinette film It is a big, baggy book that is almost plotless Or there is plot, but it doesn t really go anywhere It s just like we are following someone s life, episode by episode So not much happens in a sense, but also, so much happens I really loved Marina s relationships with men, but I also liked how strong and independent she was There is so much in this book, I slightly feel overwhelmed by it, but I loved being consumed by this story and, because I spent so long with her, how real Marina felt to me It s made me want to read all the Russians flag 3 likesLike see review View 1 comment previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next new topicDiscuss This Book topics posts views last activity Nook books September 29, 2017 2 10 Sep 30, 2017 11 12AM More topics Share Recommend It Stats Recent Status Updates Readers Also Enjoyed Other books in the series The Revolution of Marina M 2 books Books by Janet Fitch More Trivia About The Revolution of No trivia or quizzes yet Add some now Quotes from The Revolution of but for poetry one needs one s native tongue The voice of the soul is not so easily translated 1 likes At times like this I surprise myself, how I ve managed to create something of a life on this foggy shore out of the broken pieces of myself, scavenged from the sea like flotsam Or is it jetsam it irks me not to know the difference 1 likes More quotes renderRatingGraph 462, 564, 432, 192, 78 if rating_details rating_detailssert top rating_graph Company About us Careers Terms Privacy Help Work with us Authors Advertise Authors ads blog API Connect 2019 , Inc Mobile version

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    Revolution Definition of Revolution by Merriam Webster Examples revolution in a Sentence Editor s Note revolution and revolt a the action by a celestial body of going round in an orbit or elliptical course also apparent movement of such a body round the earth the time taken by a celestial body to make a complete round in its orbit. The Revolution FMO We teach agents with agents who do it every day and do it big Mark Lindsey, Owner, CEO and most importantly Producer The Revolution band The Revolution is an American rock band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota and assembled in by Prince Although widely associated with rock music, the band s sound incorporated rhythm and blues , pop , funk , and psychedelia elements. The Revolution Home Facebook The Revolution K likes The Offical Facebook Page of The Revolution, Prince s legendary band behind the phenomenon Purple Rain ON TOUR NOW French Revolution Causes, Facts, Summary Britannica Origins of the Revolution The French Revolution had general causes common to all the revolutions of the West at the end of the th century and particular causes that explain why it was by far the most violent and the most universally significant of these revolutions. The Revolution of Marina M by Janet Fitch The Revolution of Marina M is the story of Marina growing up in Russia and going through her own revolution parallelled to the Russian revolution of Marina is a dynamic character who starts out as a giggly, studious and passionate girl growing up in the aristocracy of Petrogr End of Book . Revolution definition of revolution by The Free Dictionary revolution the overthrow of a government by those who are governed counterrevolution a revolution whose aim is to reverse the changes introduced by a previous revolution group action action taken by a group of people. The Revolution MN Tour Dates, Concerts Tickets Songkick The Revolution MN A Prince concert is an unbelievable experience nothing compares to Prince He totally takes you away, it is a spiritual experience I have seen him in concert many times, and my breath is taken away every time Prince is the most talented artist of all times therevolution Join the Revolution The Revolution breathes new life into the historic Oretha Castle Haley area of New Orleans READ MORE Private events BOOK AN EVENT THerevolutionnola HOME EVENTS CALENDAR EVENT INQUIRY OUR STORY More ADDRESS Thalia St New Orleans, LA CONTACT. Revolution Define Revolution at Dictionary the overthrow or repudiation of a regime or political system by the governed in Marxist theory the violent and historically necessary transition from one system of production in a society to the next, as from feudalism to capitalism a far reaching and drastic change, esp in ideas, methods, etc movement in or as if in a circle.

    • The Revolution of Marina M. BY Janet Fitch
      332 Janet Fitch
    • thumbnail Title: The Revolution of Marina M. BY Janet Fitch
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    About “Janet Fitch

    • Janet Fitch

      Janet Fitch was born in Los Angeles, a third generation native, and grew up in a family of voracious readers As an undergraduate at Reed College, Fitch had decided to become an historian, attracted to its powerful narratives, the scope of events, the colossal personalities, and the potency and breadth of its themes But when she won a student exchange to Keele University in England, where her pas Janet Fitch was born in Los Angeles, a third generation native, and grew up in a family of voracious readers As an undergraduate at Reed College, Fitch had decided to become an historian, attracted to its powerful narratives, the scope of events, the colossal personalities, and the potency and breadth of its themes But when she won a student exchange to Keele University in England, where her passion for Russian history led her, she awoke in the middle of the night on her twenty first birthday with the revelation she wanted to write fiction I wanted to Live, not spend my life in a library Of course, my conception of being a writer was to wear a cape and have Adventures She has acquired a couple of capes since then, and a few adventures And books Her current novel, THE REVOLUTION OF MARINA M paints a portrait of a young poet coming of age during the Russian Revolution Her next book, the completion of Marina s story, CHIMES OF A LOST CATHEDRAL will appear in July 2019 Her last novel PAINT IT BLACK was just made into a feature film, available on NETFLIX



    751 thoughts on “The Revolution of Marina M.

    • This is where I ve been for the last decade working on one novel, The Revolution of Marina M. If you know me from my first two books, White Oleander and Paint It Black, both set in my home town of Los Angeles, you might be surprised to see a book set during the Russian Revolution But as Toni Morrison once advised writers If there s a book that you want to read, but it hasn t been written yet, then you must write it I m one of those people Elif Batuman described in her book < [...]


    • NOW AVAILABLE MIDNIGHT, NEW YEAR S EVE, three young witches gathered in the city that was once St Petersburg Though that silver sound, Petersburg, had been erased, and how oddly the new one struck our ears Petrograd. A sound like bronze Like horseshoes on stone, hammer on anvil, thunder in the name Petrograd. No longer Petersburg of the bells and water, that city of mirrors, of transparent twilights, Tchaikovsky ballets, and Pushkin s genius Its name had been changed [...]


    • At first I saw nothing Then, way up at the end of Nevsky, a black dot appeared A bit of red As I watched the dot grew into a bobbing mass, adorned with small smears of scarlet Now a noise, faint, like the whispering of waves on a pebbly beach, a low gravelly chatter, arose and soon echoed off the buildings and rolled down the boulevard The marchers were chanting but we weren t close enough to hear the words Varvara squeezed my arm I squeezed back We felt the shimmering possibility that t At firs [...]


    • This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I m grateful to BOTM for sending me an ARC of this book I have to say, I feel like the only person in the world who didn t fall head over heels for this novel I loved White Oleander, and I fully expected the same clarity of voice, the same forward drive of the story as Fitch displayed in her seminal work Unfortunately, all of that was completely lacking for me I found the story rambled from chapter to chapter, and wh [...]


    • So soon after reading The Heart s Invisible Furies by John Boyne I really didn t see myself being able to sit down and ingest another long and emotionally charged saga a girl needs to recharge between such books, they are awesome but mentally and physically draining But the book gods sometimes throw two such books at you so close together and of course I just couldn t help myself, who needs sleep and tissues are on sale since it s Winter, so I m covered I love everything Russian well at lea So s [...]


    • End of Book 1 I only just now realized that this epic story is not the end of our journey together with Marina M I m not exactly sure how to feel about that, but for now let s just focus on this the first book The Revolution of Marina M is the story of Marina growing up in Russia and going through her own revolution parallelled to the Russian revolution of 1917 Marina is a dynamic character who starts out as a giggly, studious and passionate girl growing up in the aristocracy of Petrogr End of B [...]


    • Oof I love Janet Fitch so this is a hard review to write but this book was painfully dull I started with high hopes Marina is a very likable character and the Russian revolution is a vibrant and electric setting for a coming of age story The beginning of the novel was well done, with our young heroine naively living the good life, sharing her expectations for her future, engaging in a youthful love affair, dreaming of a fancy life with her friends And then everything goes to shit, literally Oof [...]


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