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I have been taking a literary trip around the world with the assistance of AmazonCrossing. It’s really interesting to experience how authors in other cultures write and develop their stories. For this leg of my voyage, I’m off to Russia with Polina Dashkova’s Madness Treads Lightly.
You may think that my reasons are crazy, but I got off to a bad start with this book. There were a lot of characters (I hear my wife saying, “You read Game of Thrones.”) with unusual names (again, she says, “But you read Game of Thrones!”). It took me a bit of time to figure out who was doing what to whom (No. It’s not that kind of book.).
Eventually, I figured out that in Russia people have three names; these names are used individually or in twos depending on the relationship with the person and the situation they are in. As a fan of Roman history, I get it, I just didn’t know that it was a Russian thing as well. I respect that this is how things are done in Russia. But as this is a translated book targeted for the American market, I think that the flow would have been better had the translator adopted a more easily relatable standard for addressing the characters.
Now that my translation issue has been addressed…on to the story.
Once I was able to get my characters straight, I was able to really get into the story. Dashkova has written a suspense-filled cat-and-mouse story with some great surprises along the way. I was caught up in the story, and the characters.
The story bounced back and forth between communist and post-communist Russia. It was interesting to get the perspective on these two very different periods from someone who lived through it.
Madness Treads Lightly was a good book that kept me involved. I would definitely read more books by Dashkova in the future.