Review by: Abby Shelton
At the height of postwar Soviet Russia, WWII hero and MGB officer (precursor to the KGB) Leo Demidov is denounced, demoted, estranged from his wife Raisa, and sent to the Ural Mountains because of the ambitions of an inferior officer. In the little town of Voualsk, Leo discovers that all is not well in Stalin’s paradise as he investigates the suspicious death of a local child. Haunted by childhood memories, Leo tries to solve a series of related child murders, restore his relationship with his wife, and keep his growing doubts about the Soviet cause under wraps from prying eyes.
Review by Sam Sorensøn
“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood offers a peek into a not-too-distant future of the United States, now the Republic of Gilead, wherein the constitution has been dissolved, and those in power have effectively eradicated women’s rights. In fact, women aren’t allowed to read anymore. Relics from the past, such as fashion magazines, are considered contraband. Our protagonist, Offred (her name designating Fred’s ownership) describes her experience as a handmaid on her third assignment, including the revolution, failed attempts to escape, and the newly imposed totalitarian social structure that redefines what it is to be a woman. Through this narrative, Offred guides her audience through a terrifying illustration of gender inequality and problematic power dynamics. The end provides a twist that I cannot reveal, but creates an interesting lack of closure. Continue reading