BookBrowse Reviews White Blood by James Fleming

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White Blood

by James Fleming

White Blood
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 368 pages
    Sep 2008, 368 pages

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Beautifully written, richly imagined, by turns savage and tender, set in revolutionary Russia

Fleming explores the clash between tradition and progress, class and culture in White Blood, a gritty novel, intensely flavored with both the elegance and terror of Russia on the brink of civil war, that lures the reader in with an almost lighthearted opening travelogue but that inexorably gathers steam, drawing to a thrilling, emotionally exhausting conclusion.

Charlie Doig, son of a Scots father and Russian mother, is brought up near Smolensk until about 12-years of age when he and his mother move to England where his father plans to join them. Unfortunately, Doig senior catches the plague and dies before joining his family in London, leaving his proud Russian wife penniless, living on the charity of relatives; and his son with a childish ...

Interesting To Note: The title White Blood presumably alludes to the term White Russian which has multiple meanings. It can refer to a member of the Russian military force that opposed the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War (1918-21). It can also refer to a Russian who emigrated from Russia during or shortly after the Civil War. Lastly, it can refer to a person from Belarus (bela meaning white); Belarus is close to Smolensk, the location of the fictional Pink House.

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