Love & Tears
Suffering & Survival in Wartime Russia

By Anna Stepanova
October 2011
Book Guild
ISBN: 9781846245589
Distributed by Trans-Atlantic Publications
248 pages
$37.50 Hardcover

22 June 1941: a family sleeps in the little border town of Ciechanowiec, Poland. They wake to a firestorm German bombs are falling. Anna's father, part of the Soviet army stationed there, must leave his family and go to fight for the motherland. Anna and her mother start a desperate search for safety, taking them across vast distances and through unimaginable hardship. Anna survives only thanks to her mother's fierce determination and the kindness of strangers. They never see her father again. How had such a terrible situation come to be? Anna Stepanova traces her family's story from the earliest days of the Soviet Union up to her own experiences in World War II. She describes the harshness of life under Stalin and the great Soviet machine, and the senseless brutality of war for so many soldiers like her father. She also attempts to give her family's story a broader context, examining the wider perspective of events in the USSR as a whole and the nature of its leadership. Could things have been different? A compelling story of one family's struggles set against the backdrop of some of the most dramatic and appalling events of the twentieth century.

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