To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Dreams of My Russian Summers: A Novel Paperback – May 15, 2011
|New from||Used from|
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Makine's first novel is a singing tribute to the alchemy of inspiration, but it is no less familiar with the sorrows of reality. And it is only as he gets older that the narrator begins to piece together his grandmother's far more tragic past--her experiences in the Great War, the October Revolution, and after. Dreams of My Russian Summers is a love letter to an extraordinary woman (it's hard not to see the book as autobiographical) as well as to language and literature, which the boy turns to in avoidance of history's manipulations. It has all the marks of an instant classic. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Each summer, Andrei and his sister visited this grandmother at the edge of Russia's vast steppes, and in the evening she told them stories of her past. Trapped in Russia after the revolution, she married a Russian and became a hardworking Soviet wife and mother - but she never lost the Frenchness of her utmost being. Slowly, over the years, she reveals harsh truths to young Andrei - but always with a lyrical and dreamlike quality that makes reading this book feel as though you're inhaling pure, gauzy poetry.
The Russian summers of the title are those the narrator and his sister spent visiting their grandmother, Charlotte, in the town of Saranza on the eastern edge of the steppes.
Charlotte was born in France in 1903 and was subsequently trapped in Russia in 1921 at the outbreak of the revolution. She has lived an outwardly harrowing life, surviving famine, civil war, a rape by a band of thieves in the desert as well as the seemingly endless cold and snows of the Siberian winter.
When she finally marries a Russian soldier, he is twice reported dead at the Front and Charlotte escapes the German air raid with her two children, working as a nurse in army field hospitals. She is a woman who embraces the vastness of Russia, yet manages to keep her Frenchness alive.
And it is this Frenchness, this essence of all things French, that she wishes to pass on to her grandchildren. Apparently she succeeds. Standing on Grandmother Charlotte's balcony, young Makine looks out over the steppes as he comes to believe that he has found the secret of "being French." He says, "The countless facets of this elusive identity had formed themselves into a living whole." He finds this elusive identity of the living whole in stark contrast to his native Russia and longs for France and its "well ordered mode of existence.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was a bit disappointed. I found it disjointed and it even seemed like part had been written or translated by two different people. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was interesting and personal. However the translation needed polishingPublished 4 months ago by Nan
This book was a riveting and enjoyable read that captivated both myself & my 92 year old mother!Published 5 months ago by amy
71 of 75 for 2015. The reading guide for this novel compares it to work by Nabokov and other great Russian authors, although I can't really see that. Read morePublished 5 months ago by MTBearded1@aol.com
My first introduction to Andrei Makine, have since read all of his other books. One of my favourite authors.Published 5 months ago by George Thomas
I don't know how to describe this novel - there really wasn't a plot. It was more of a memoir, but I'd have to read it again to be sure about that. Read morePublished 6 months ago by tomhex2
A confusing story. I am not sure why I finished it. A very negative book that went in all directions.Published 6 months ago by MK