Who is to Blame? By Jane Marlow is an historical story about two families – one noble, one serf. Elizaveta Anatrev is a peasant girl in a village in the grain fields of Russia. As her father forbids her to marry the man she loves, Elizaveta finds herself in a situation she cannot possibly escape. On the other side, Count Maximov and his family struggle with a situation caused by deceit and corruption. Set in the 1840s-1860s as the disconnect between the classes gets wider and wider until Russian Emperor Alexander II issues the Emancipation Manifesto which frees the serfs. And social chaos erupts but who’s to blame? Who is able to live the life they deserve? Will a balance between the classes be achieved?
An in-depth story set in a country with a complication history, Who is to Blame? displays this complicated time with an intertwined story of serfs and landed gentry with no clear answer as to why events occurred. With so much going on in the story, it is hard to discuss any details without giving something away. However, the story feels so very real as serfs starve while the gentry feast. While classes have stereotypes about how the other lives, works and behaves, it becomes clear that there are no real winners in this world. I recommend Who is to Blame? to anyone who enjoys historical fiction with a very real situation.
Who is to Blame?
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