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Deckled Edge Books

This is an extension of my blog site www.decklededgebooks.com. I am a passionate reader who is devoted to supporting independent booksellers and publishers. I focus mainly on literary fiction, general fiction and memoirs.

Currently reading

The Empathy Exams: Essays
Leslie Jamison
Progress: 71/218 pages

All Russians Love Birch Trees

All Russians Love Birch Trees - Olga Grjasnowa

This was a good read. Beautifully written, this novel draws you into Masha’s life effortlessly. As you share in Masha’s struggle to find her identity you are introduced to a multicultural cast of characters who have their own challenges with their national and cultural identity. Dipping at times into the conflict between Palestine and Israel, what I loved most about this book is the way you gain these differing perspectives without feeling like you are being preached to or that the author is taking a side. This lack of political posturing is done by author’s focus on relationships and on the true individuality of the characters. While yes, some of them do have their own political perspectives, but these politics come out solely as a part of who they are as people and the lines are not always drawn as clearly as one might think. As I read the story I found myself giving thought to my own cultural and national identity and how it has formed my experiences and perspective on the world. I also came to appreciate how narrow that perspective can be as I found myself surprised by some of the characters’ point of view. I highly recommend All Russians Love Birch Trees to any reader who wants to spend time with a well written story that will give them pause to think about the value of greater cultural perspective in today’s world.