Four-year-old Romochka is alone, the apartment dark and empty. His mother vanished some time ago, and now his uncle too has not returned. The whole building is empty and cold. Snow begins to fall outside, but after a few days, hunger drives Romochka out into the Moscow cold, his mother's voice ringing in his ears. Don't talk to strangers. Overlooked by passers-by, he stands, shivering and indecisive, on the threshold. Suddenly he sees a large, yellow dog loping past and, on impulse, he follows her to her lair in an abandoned church outside the city. During the long, icy winter and the seasons that follow, Romochka changes from a boy into something far wilder. Under the watchful gaze of his dog-mother, he becomes part of the clan. He learns to see in the dark, eat anything the dogs find, attack enemies with tooth and claw, and understand the strict pack code. When he begins to hunt with his dog siblings in the city, he is drawn inexorably back into the world of human beings.
It is only a matter of time before the authorities take an interest Eva Hornung's extraordinary tale of a latter-day Romulus in post-perestroika Russia is a devastating story of childhood, survival, family and life on the harsh edges of society.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC