Published: 2 March 2017
Hardback, Demy HB
138x216mm, 560 pages
Published: 2 March 2017
Lose yourself in the irresistible story of one woman's journey through 20th-century Russia.
Growing up in 1930s Brooklyn, Florence Fein will do anything to escape the confining values of her family and her city, and create a life of meaning and consequence. When a new job and a love affair lead her to Moscow, she doesn't think twice about abandoning America - only to discover, years later, that America has abandoned her.
Now, as her son Julian travels back to Moscow - entrusted to stitch together a murky transcontinental oil deal - he must dig into Florence's past to discover who his mother really was and what she became. He must also persuade his own son, Lenny, to abandon his risky quest for prosperity in the cut-throat Russian marketplace. As he traces a thread from Depression-era America, through the collective housing and work camps of Stalin's USSR, to the glittering, oil-rich world of New Russia, Julian finally begins to understand the role he has played - as a father, and as a son.
Epic in sweep and intimate in detail, The Patriots is both a compelling portrait of the entangled relationship between America and Russia, and a beautifully crafted story of three generations of one family caught between the forces of history and the consequences of past choices.
‘[The Patriots] draws you in and envelops you completely, [with] characters who are as vivid as friends. Krasikov tackles huge themes with aplomb, her writing as confident as a veteran's. Particularly in the anniversary year of the Revolution, what she has to say on the compromises we make for idealism - for love of country - is worth reading’ Eleanor Franzén
‘[A] sweeping epic... a believable and astonishingly accomplished tapestry of lives caught between the turning cogs of history... Tragic, poetic and intimate’ Alan Bett
‘[A] sweeping tale of family, identity and ideals’ A Must-read in 2017
‘[An] ambitious historical saga from first-time novelist Krasikov... Bold’ Francesca Angelini
‘[An] outstanding historical saga [and] a dazzling and addictive piece of work... Accomplished and packed with believable detail and entertaining dialogue [The Patriots] also feels curiously relevant, tip-toeing around the complicated relationship between the United States and Russia during and after the Cold War... As an intelligent literary commentary on Russo-American relations of the past century, it's unparalleled’ Viv Groskop
‘[Full of] rich themes... ambitious’ Anna Aslanyan
‘The Patriots is a masterwork, a Dr. Zhivago for our times. It is a novel rooted in characters so real you weep over their tragic fates, so realized you think you're watching a movie, with sentences so sharp and wise they stop you in your tracks. The story of dreamy Florence Fein, from Flatbush, Brooklyn, will break your heart’ Yann Martel
‘Krasikov has a real gift for storytelling. She combines love affairs with brilliant evocations of Stalinism, from detailed accounts of Soviet state orphanages to examples of Russian anti-Semitism and the brutality of all-night interrogations by the secret police... A compelling and sometimes desperately moving read... An astonishing first novel by a very gifted young writer’
‘A sprawling tale which tackles big questions and doesn't play them for laughs. The Patriots is a multigenerational saga of passion and disillusionment, betrayal and forgiveness... We ought to be grateful for novelists like Krasikov, who can help us chart these vast epistemic gulfs, if not bridge them’ Boris Dralyuk
‘Bold... convey[ing] a rich, evocative portrait of Moscow through the ages... A truly fascinating journey of the development of political morality... it will reward you for the time you invest in it’ Josh Bryson
‘Compelling... Krasikov's characters are so vivid that you almost think you are watching events unfold on a movie screen... The Patriots is a novel which encompasses many themes - identity, family, love, self-deception and the dangers of political ideology. It's a beautifully written epic novel, and it will certainly be one of my stand-out reads of the year’
‘I admit I had high expectations for The Patriots. Fortunately, I had only to read the prologue to suspect that the hugely gifted Sana Krasikov may have leapt over them. What followed, a sweeping, ambitious kaleidoscope of family, faith, identity, idealism, and displacement, only confirmed my early impression. I found on every page an observation so acute, a sentence of such truth and shining detail, that it demanded re-reading for the sheer pleasure of it. The Patriots has convinced me that Krasikov belongs among the totemic young writers of her era’ Khaled Hosseini, author
‘Impressive... [a] multi-generational political thriller [and] a masterclass in historical fiction’ Kate Whiting
‘Krasikov moves deftly between two eras in Russia marked by deal-making, connivance and treachery... A sweeping, colourful read that might get Warren Beatty thinking about a Reds II’ Jeffrey Burke
‘Urgently relevant, The Patriots asks huge, complex questions about identity, loyalty, truth and self-deception, and explores tangled historical connections between Russia and the US... At the heart of this weighty and engaging novel are true stories: hundreds of Americans living in the USSR in the 1930s and lives there today... The Patriots contains elements of family saga, corporate thriller, historical novel and philosophical bildungsroman. Krasikov writes with a poetic ear for sound and cadence’ Phoebe Taplin