In this rousing yet uneven fictionalized retelling of events surrounding Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution, Miller (Snowdrops), culture editor for the Economist, draws on his experience working in the region to tease out the political, civilian, and diplomatic tensions behind the mass protests. Chapters set in 2004 follow the protests, political plays, and governmental scrambling leading up to Ukraine Supreme Court’s ruling that the country’s 2004 presidential election was invalid and the court’s call for a new vote. British diplomat Simon Davey was ousted after an attempt to calm relations between protesters and government-backed political groups failed as a result of him being accused of having an affair with his Russian contact. In 2017, threads start to unravel for Davey after he sees Oleysa Zarchenko, a Ukrainian protestor and his former contact, on the London subway. He follows her and questions her about her role in the protests and the Ukrainian government’s response to the protests. As his perception changes, he begins to see how the power levers were being pulled 12 years ago, and reveals himself to be a somewhat obtuse, selfish, and idealistic bureaucrat who must come to terms with his culpability in governmental manipulation. Readers who can look past the underdeveloped characters will enjoy Miller’s vivid portrayal of political intrigue. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 10/15/2019 Release date: 02/04/2020 Genre: Fiction
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