Ice Road - Gillian Slovo (Paperback) 24-02-2005 Short-listed for Orange Prize 2004 (UK).
Irina Davydovna is a cleaner. She has no time for politics or even for that matter, people: 'rules and rulers may come and go, but dirt never changes.' Boris Aleksandrovich is a revolutionary. He thinks he understands power. But this is Leningrad in 1933 and Stalin is about to turn against their city. When the life of his beloved daughter Natasha is threatened and his old friend Anton saves a skinny little orphan he finds on a Moscow train, Boris' faith in his ideals are put to the test. While Irina, watching it all, must learn the power of loyalty and love. 'Powerful and moving, Ice Road is a novel whose epic scope never obscures the individual lives that are lived in the shadow of great events. I shall never forget Natasha and Kolya's love story . . . or Irina, whose sturdy self respect and determination to survive, seems, at times, to speak for an entire people. Gillian Slovo excels in depicting complex human beings, full of passion, love, ambition, self-interest, who are caught up in their country's history and swept along by it.' Pat Barker