I need to begin by saying that I'm such an useless piece of sop . Anyways, I just finished reading Shamim Sarif's Despite the Falling Snow. I'm left speechless after reading that book. I was subtly impressed by her previous work, The World Unseen, but I wasn't spellbound the way I feel now. There is something so magical in the journey she takes the reader to in her latest novel. Shuttling between Post-Stalinist Russia and modern day Boston is Manna from Heaven for a romantic freak like me. The way she spins several different love stories all together is amazing. Even though, the stories cannot be called "original", as it does takes some previously used elements of intrigue, treason, betrayal, love-during-political-crisis, etc, but the way she narrates her story is so cinematic. This is exactly the kind of story I like to read. The words come alive in the form of expressions, visuals and feelings. Truly brilliant!
The main characters may be quite 2-dimensional at times. Like, Alexander was too much of a goody-two-shoes. But you still can't help falling in love with them. I especially found an interesting parallel between the relationship that Alex and Katya had and the romance brewing between Lauren and Melissa. Lauren and Alex are both artistic, romantic and have a slow passion about them. Melissa and Katya are both headstrong and quite ruthless when it comes to what they want. And in the end, both Melissa and Katya fall for the charming romantics... gives this charming romantic some hope .
But, I do know one thing, Russia is my new favorite place. The snow flakes playing on the spires of the Cathedrals and the overcast sky in the backdrop of the Kremlin... aah, the stuff that dreams are made out of. Now I can totally NOT wait for the film version of the book. Though, Kevin Reynolds is not really the director I would have chosen; he's not exactly the best around. His Count of Monte Cristo and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves gives *little* excitement. But at the very least, I'll be able to watch the characters on screen. But rather him than no cinematic adaptation at all. Just imagining Katya and Alex on their wedding day, or Melissa and Lauren having their duel of words, or Estelle and Alex meeting each other in their old age... *shivers in thrill*
Now, back to my own writing