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The Eighth Life (Paperback)

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The Eighth Life Cover Image
By Nino Haratischvili, Charlotte Collins (Translator), Ruth Martin (Translator)
$28.00
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Staff Reviews


“The ghosts whispered hoarsely; no one heard anything.  For years to come, the words would go on dissolving in people’s mouths.” 

Nino Haratischivili’s The Eighth Life is a grand and sprawling Georgian epic, spanning over a century of Georgian history.  Beneath the engaging family saga -- of a secret (and possibly dangerous!) chocolate recipe passed down through generations -- lies the real strength of the novel, in its deftly illustrated history lessons, as the country is drawn into first the Russian civil war, then the brutalist Stalin regime (Stalin himself is Georgian, one of their “countrymen.”), the onset of WWII, and on to the Prague Spring. This is a vivid, captivating, and sobering reminder of the intense destruction wrought by political totalitarianism and powerful men. Told almost exclusively through the women of the family, the grandiose novel is dizzying in scope, but precise in its psychological acuity. It is also extremely engrossing -- like a Georgian soap opera, or a great unfolding Russian novel. The natural comparison here is Tolstoy’s War and Peace, but I also found many commonalities with Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet (My Brilliant Friend, etc.).  The characters are richly drawn and their personal storylines (inlaid with the historical events) are compelling.  Audie highly recommends this fascinating, captivating, and illuminating book.

— Audie

Description


An epic family saga beginning with the Russian Revolution and swirling across a century, encompassing war, loss, love requited and unrequited, ghosts, joy, massacres, tragedy. And hot chocolate.

At the start of the twentieth century, on the edge of the Russian empire, a family prospers. It owes its success to a delicious chocolate recipe, passed down the generations with great solemnity and caution. A caution which is justified: this is a recipe for ecstasy that carries a very bitter aftertaste...

Stasia learns it from her Georgian father and takes it north, following her new husband, Simon, to his posting at the center of the Russian Revolution in St Petersburg. Stasia's is only the first in a symphony of grand but all too often doomed romances that swirl from sweet to sour in this epic tale of the red century.

Tumbling down the years, and across vast expanses of longing and loss, generation after generation of this compelling family hears echoes and sees reflections. A ballet dancer never makes it to Paris and a singer pines for Vienna. Great characters and greater relationships come and go and come again; the world shakes, and shakes some more, and the reader rejoices to have found at last one of those glorious old books in which you can live and learn, be lost and found, and make indelible new friends.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781950354146
ISBN-10: 1950354148
Publisher: Scribe Us
Publication Date: April 14th, 2020
Pages: 944
Language: English
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