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Judy W. (Tucker, GA)
Partial History of Lost Causes
Reading this novel proved to be laborious. The theme is strange. Readers seeking in-depth character analysis will enjoy this book. Ms. Dubois painted a bleak picture of present day Russia. Yet, the facts are accurate, reflecting the political climate.
Kelly H. (Martinsville, IN)
A Partial History of Lost Causes
Often authors have difficulty with the conclusion of a story--not so with Ms. Dubois. I liked the ending, only wishing it would have appeared after 200 pages instead of 400 pages!
Ms. DuBois writes every well. It is always nice to read an author possessing a fine command of the English language.
I agree with so many other reviewers! I know the author is a wonderful writer, but I didn't care about these characters, and I found a lot of the book to be tedious because of the chess element. I didn't truly like the characters, or care if they helped each other or not - and I really wanted to and tried. I will certainly look for her next novel, as there were a few parts I was able to get on somewhat of a roll and enjoy her writing.
Vicki O. (Boston, MA)
A Lost Cause
Overall, this was not one of my favorite books. I almost abandoned it. I found the writing burdensome and the pace slow. Even though the characters were well developed, I really didn’t care what happened to either of them. I didn’t believe that they could help each other find the meaning of their lives.
Suzanne G. (Tucson, AZ)
This is a great book. The time frame of the story is 1979 through 2007. Two main characters meet in Russia in 2006; Irina finds Aleksandr, a former chess champion who she hopes has answers for her questions regarding the outcome of fate. Irina was in first person while Aleksandr’s story was told by the author—definitely a change of style that I enjoyed. I’m anxiously looking forward to reading the next novel of Jennifer duBois.
Patricia S. (New Canaan, CT)
Would appeal to chess players
Had my parents not taught me to read a book through to the end, I might have stopped midway and given this barely a 3. I found it very tedious in the beginning and wished I knew something about the game of chess. However as the book progressed, it began to have more rhythm, and I enjoyed the writing style and Ms. DuBois' command of the English language. The last 1/3 of the book was a pleasure to read, and I was then wishing for more.
Joyce W. (Rochester, MN)
Fabulous writer needs better story line
I wanted to rate this on two levels; her writing is a 5 but the story is a 3. I enjoyed her writing immensely and will look for a future book. It was a little too slow and philosophical for me and the characters were not compelling. The scenes of Russia were as I pictured it and loved the use of current politics with Putin. A little bit too many adverbs and adjectives; a more uplifting topic with her style would make a marvelous read.
Beatrice D. (Floral Park, New York)
Searching for Meaning in Different Worlds
Two characters from opposite sides of the world meet in a country that is frequently in the news, yet we know so little about the life of its people.
Laurie H. (Stuart, FL)
Like a glass of fine red wine
Aleksandr, a chess prodigy from a rural village in Russia finds himself first in Leningrad where he meets people who have an influence on his life and then in Moscow.
Irina, from Cambridge, Mass., has cut all ties with her American life and is now in Moscow seeking to meet Aleksandr because of a letter she found among her late father's papers. Both are searching for answers to the meanings of their very disparate lives.
The subsidiary characters (both real and fictional), as well as the events described during this period in Russia's history make for an engaging and provocative read.
Red wine and great books, these are a few of my favorite things!! I loved this book; it's nice to see that an author can have an original idea and follow it through with a great story. Like a glass of good wine, it's flavor unfolds slowly and you invest yourself in the characters; it does not disappoint. Curl up in your favorite chair and enjoy, I did.