The Little Russian by SUSAN SHERMAN

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Synopsis

The Little Russian spotlights an exciting new and assured voice in historical fiction. The novel tells the story of Berta Alshonsky, who revels in childhood memories of her time spent with a wealthy family in Moscow––a life filled with salons, balls, and all the trappings of the Upper Class––very different from her current life as a grocer’s daughter in the Jewish townlet of Mosny. So when a mysterious and cultured wheat merchant walks into the grocery, Berta’s life is forever altered. She falls in love, unaware that he is a member of the Bund, The Jewish Worker’s League, smuggling arms to the shtetls to defend them against the pogroms sweeping the Little Russian countryside.

Married and established in the wheat center of Cherkast, Berta has recaptured the life she once had in Moscow. So when a smuggling operation goes awry and her husband must flee the country, Berta makes the vain and foolish choice to stay behind with her children and her finery. As Russia plunges into war, Berta eventually loses everything and must find a new way to sustain the lives and safety of her children. Filled with heart-stopping action, richly drawn characters, and a world seeped in war and violence; The Little Russian is poised to capture readers at every turn.
 

About SUSAN SHERMAN

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Susan Sherman is a former Chairman of the Art Department of Whittier College, a small liberal arts university once attended by President Richard Nixon. She is also the co-creator of “That’s So Raven,” one of the most successful television shows for children in the history of the Disney Network. This is her first novel.
 
Published January 1, 2012 by Counterpoint. 354 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Little Russian

Kirkus Reviews

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Sherman paints a refreshingly unsentimental portrait of a woman beset and a nation in the throes of revolutionary change yet still bound by ancient prejudices—so unsentimental, in fact, that it’s hard to care much about vain, self-centered Berta even after she is transformed into a tough, resourc...

Nov 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Little Russian

Publishers Weekly

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As a teenage girl at the beginning of the 20th century, Berta Lorkis is sent from the Ukraine, or “Little Russia,” to become a temporary playmate for a distant relation in Moscow, leaving behind her working-class Jewish family and becoming entranced with Moscow’s sophistication and wealth.

Oct 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Little Russian

Historical Novel Society

She weaves the comfort and complacence of the wealthier people together with the grim desperation of the poor, the comforting, sustaining rituals of the Jews together with the hysterical ignorance of the larger society that vents all its terror on them, slaughter together with a sustaining ritual...

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Red Room

A mesmerizing read.” —Booklist (starred review)” I started out as a ceramic artist, working in clay, doing narrative pieces that told a story.

Nov 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Little Russian

Red Room

A mesmerizing read.” —Booklist (starred review)” I started out as a ceramic artist, working in clay, doing narrative pieces that told a story.

| Read Full Review of The Little Russian

Red Room

A mesmerizing read.” —Booklist (starred review) “(A) sweeping saga… from its grim depiction of war’s depredations to its harsh portrayals of anti-Semitism to its fiery love story.

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