The House by the Dvina: A Russian-Scottish Childhood

Eugenie Fraser, Author Walker & Company $19.95 (306p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1007-9
In a memoir redolent of storied Russiasteaming samovars and frigid sledge-rides, the scent of white birch logs burning in the fireplace, festive religious holidays and balalaika musicFraser recreates the twilight of Tsarist days, the revolution and civil war. This daughter of the merchant class, born in 1906, grew into her teens in Archangel, with frequent visits to and from her maternal Scottish grandparents. The author's Russkaya dusha, or Russian soul, emerges so palpably that although she has lived in Scotland (with a period in India) since she emigrated in 1920, her nostalgia is clearly, exclusively, for all things Russian. Her tale is peopled with myriad relatives, servants and townfolk; with the ghostly presences of her father (who died in 1928 and whom she last saw when she, her mother and brother escaped by ship to Murmansk), and babushka and dedushka, her paternal grandparents sent into exile by the revolution. The memory of her lamented home by the Dvina, Archangel's river, grips Fraser, and will the reader as well. Photos not seen by PW. (November l6)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-84596-573-0
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-84596-985-1
Paperback - 335 pages - 978-0-552-12833-9
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