In present-day France a Russian writer recalls his harsh childhood at a Stalingrad orphanage in the 1960s and the old Frenchwoman, a family friend, whose tales fed his dreams of a better world. One story in particular has stayed with him: that of her brief, passionate affair, during World War II, with the French fighter pilot Jacques Dorme, who subsequently died in a plane crash in the Siberian mountains. So the narrator decides to retrace Jacques Dorme's steps, beginning a journey which leads him not only to revisit the land of his birth but also to see his adopted homeland in an unflattering new light. A profound and moving novel about the dangers of ideology and of war, delivered with humour, sensuousness and great lyricism.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division