Author: Nicholas A. Marziani, Jr.
Publisher: WC Publishing
My rating is 3 stars out of 5.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.
When I requested a copy of this novel, I was aware of the theological view that would permeate the story. The work of fiction was interesting due to the setting in Russia and also the many characters from either small villages or major cities. Part of the novel focuses on a romance between two teenagers during a time of regional competition that involved many avenues of academia and the arts such as ballet. Misha was from a small town with no name only a zip code, but very devout in his faith and a genius in many areas of math and science. Anastasia studied and excelled in ballet with dreams of performing in Moscow with a premier company.
Throughout the novel, which is set in the late 1980s, and going forward, readers follow these two people as they become adults. The family members of both young people are very involved in the lives of Misha and Anna as she was lovingly referred by both Misha and her family. Misha was raised in the Orthodox faith whereas Anna was raised in a Catholic home.
Warning: There is one scene toward the end of the book that could have easily been left out where Misha and Anna are in a hotel room exploring each other. The scene though not explicit in description doesn’t add but actually impedes the story line besides being something I didn’t want to read.
Of course there is a heavy emphasis on the beliefs of the Catholic Church and some of the Orthodox faith as well. I grew up in a Catholic home so was aware of the tenets of faith in the book; however, I was clueless as to the Orthodox belief system. It would have been helpful had the author included a bibliography for readers to be able to learn more about the various belief systems espoused. While I grew up in the Catholic Church, I later left and became a practicing Protestant. Why I left is not pertinent to the review of the book, but just to let readers know of my knowledge of at least one of the belief systems.
If anyone chooses to read the book, please be aware of the heavy espousing of Catholicism much of which I cannot back up in the Bible. This wasn’t a book I could easily sit down and enjoy due to the use of Russian words for which I had to return to the front of the book to remind myself what the meanings were. The one aspect that would have been somewhat enjoyable to read more of in the work of fiction was the twist of the plot that brought the climax right before the end of the book. Always read any book with the knowledge that only the Bible is 100% truth and from God 100% of the time. (Not referring to the apoplectic books added to the Catholic Bible).
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