***I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review***
SYNOPSIS: A fictionalized account of Arthur Ransome, British journalist turned spy, during his time in Russia during the Russian Revolution.
The Goodreads summary for this book is very misleading because it does not mention that this is based on real life events, only that it is set in the Russian Revolution. I was under the impression that this would be more about the Revolution and less about this one outsiders actions and views of the Revolution, but it was told in a truly interesting way. The narrative is broken down into three parts and the first part is the most interesting way of telling the story and therefore my favorite part. The first part of the story is background information about the Russian Revolution and the events of Arthur’s life that get him to Russia and it is told in the style of a Russian fairy tale. It was such a unique way to convey information and it was a nice little nod to the real Arthur Ransome because he is most well known for writing a popular book of Russian fairy tales. I honestly wish the entire book was written in this style because it allowed for the fantastical to happen and it allowed for interesting metaphors and imagery that told an incredibly well known story through a different lens and in a fun way. The second and third parts are just straight forward and a little bit of a let down to me because of how creative and intriguing the story started. Ransome’s life was also interesting because of how his job allowed him to connect with the Russian leaders and the British leaders, but I felt like it wasn’t played up as much as it should’ve been. Sedgwick tried to make the story about more than just Arthur, but I feel like in doing so a lot of the interesting details and elements that he started with petered out. All the little details were there to make this book highly fascinating and so unique, but unfortunately I felt like using three different styles to tell the story wasn’t what the story needed. I wish that Sedgwick had stuck with the fairy tale aspect because it was a cool way to tell the story and a good way to pay homage to the man that inspired it. However I did appreciate the uniqueness in every section having a different way to tell the story and I though Sedgwick uses his words well. Overall while I didn’t fully enjoy reading the book I did enjoy how different it was.
Thank you Macmillan for allowing me to read this book! Get your copy here.