this book was suggested as part of a reading challenge. Had I seen this book in the stores, I would have skipped right over it. And that would have been a mistake. It was well-written and interesting, the plot was quite good, the descriptions were spot on for my own visit to Russia 47 years after the book was set. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, and how much I wanted to read this book to the neglect of everything else once I got into it.