The Patriots by Sana Krasikov is a family epic spanning three generations. From Depression era Brooklyn, New York when Florence Fein leaves college to take a job in Moscow. To post-Cold War American, where her son Julian is trying to learn the truth about his mother and her patriotism toward Russia as well trying to convince his own son, Lenny, come home. Julian works for an oil company which takes him to Russia frequently. He learns that the KGB is opening files, he sees his chance to learn the secrets his mother took to her grave. He uses this trip to also plead with his son to return to America as Lenny seems to have inherited his grandmother’s devotion to Russia. Will Julian finally learn the truth about his mother? Will he understand what he learns? Will Lenny return home with Julian? Or will he remain in Russia?
The Patriots is a story told in alternating viewpoints, Florence, Julian and Lenny, as a tale of the one family, two countries and the events which lead to the beginning and end of the Cold War. The writing is beautiful, almost lyrical, with sweeping descriptions of the locations, the emotions and events. I enjoyed the family discovery as an adult child sees his parent in a new light with, possibly, a new understand of her motivations and convictions. I found the book a little hard to read at times with the alternating time line and I suggest make note of the time and location given in an illustration at the start of every chapter. However, I enjoyed it and look forward to reading it again in the future. Overall, if you enjoy historical fiction, you will enjoy The Patriots.
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Barnes and Nobles in hardcover and NookBook