Ice Road: A Novel

By Gillian Slovo

"A gripping tale of braveness, disillusionment, survival, and the triumph of the human spirit."―Sarah Durant, writer of The beginning of Venus

Loyalties, ideals, love, kin ties: all are demonstrated to the restrict in a single of the main devastating moments of human historical past: the siege of Leningrad in the course of international conflict II. Boris Aleksandrovich, a well-meaning bureaucrat, thinks he can negotiate among idealism and politics. His daughter, Natasha, learns in a different way while, as a tender girl in love, she is sort of beaten by way of her father's compromises. looking at all this spread is Irina. clever, ironic, remarkable Irina, whom Boris had persuaded to move on an ill-fated voyage to the Arctic Circle, the place she slightly survived. while she arrives again in Leningrad, he feels honor absolute to locate her a place inside his relatives circle. Irina involves know how love for an additional may well, in spite of everything, be extra strong and extra profound than blind loyalty to an idea. interesting and heroic, peopled with splendidly complicated characters, Ice Road is a masterpiece. A finalist for the Orange Prize.

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On the other evening, she would leave and are available again whilst issues had moved on. yet now not this night. Something’s occurring within the urban. issues relocating too quickly. no longer stable. no longer reliable for her. Even this station. It’s crowded, even more crowded than it may be. Crowds may give defense yet they could even be risky. They allure uniforms, name them shut. anything in her tells her: wait. go away all over again. yet she can't take heed to that voice, for it has come too overdue. She survives via finding out after which appearing. She has to go away. this night. She has already made up our minds. She can’t hold up. She’ll take a passenger educate. that's her selection. this is often how she continuously makes judgements. She thinks out the only factor, then the opposite. so as. Slowly and with care. Then she comes to a decision and he or she doesn’t need to imagine. to decide on a educate is a straightforward factor. She merely has to observe out for the stream of the samovars, and to take advantage of her eyes to persist with the coal vans jolting down the song, to determine the engine already belching, the wheels steaming, the lengthy aprons operating forwards and backwards, back and forth as though they're vital. There. That’s the single there on a platform on the finish. That one. she's going to get on that. the place is she going to? She doesn’t be aware of. She doesn’t care. one other position. That’s all that concerns. And why is she going? What does it subject? She’s going, that’s all. relocating on. intuition instructed her to and on intuition is how she exists. On stability she comes to a decision she likes a crowded station. That manner she will be able to flitter, like a shadow, among the teams and never be spotted. That’s the trick. To make as though she isn’t there. to vanish. She walks. no longer quick. no longer gradual. Queues of girls. Crying infants. Why do they trouble? Won’t they simply close up? There: she is sort of by way of the platform. this is often the demanding half. in simple terms individuals with a let allowed. She stands out. cautious. fats boots, thick coats, fur helmets over there. pink stars. hazard. threat yet she has to take a chance. the town is just too busy. anything occurring. whatever that won’t like her. now could be the time. She has to head. a protracted apron. A porter. She falls consistent with him. On his different facet, there’s a crimson celebrity yet he’s taking a look the wrong way and doesn’t see her. The porter’s varied: he is aware that she is there. She is familiar with he is aware, she observed his eyes on her. He, besides the fact that, offers no signal of it. She understands his variety this means that she is aware he won’t supply her away. He’ll boast approximately it later – how he didn’t name the gurus. ‘I didn’t have the heart,’ he’ll inform his fats cow of a spouse. most likely thinks she’s thankful. thankful. Huh! humans like that don’t idiot her. They’re like every the remaining: they simply don’t are looking to draw difficulty, even a person else’s, to themselves. She makes use of him. That’s what he’s there for. for defense until eventually they’ve handed the uniforms. Then, because the teach belches steam, she leaps, preserving tight to her small satchel by means of its leather-based straps, going among carriages, jumping up. Hidden. preserving on. And waits. She is woken whilst her satchel falls. It jolts down yet now not the entire means. She has wound the strap round her wrist and now, because the bag drops into the darkness of the dashing rails and is sort of over excited, it tugs at her.

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