This book begins where 'The Silent Steppe' left off. It is early 1945, and the author, Mukhamet, still recuperating from serious war injuries, has travelled thousands of kilometres back to his home village in the eastern Kazakh steppe.As he encounters scenes of desperate poverty, he quickly realises the immense sacrifices made by local people, and particularly women, while the able-bodied men were away fighting. Mukhamet endeavours to pick up the pieces of his pre-war life, working hard to support his extended family, marrying, continuing his education, and eventually embarking on a life in teaching dedicated to giving young people the best education possible.Through his insightful portraits of local party bosses, district officials and bureaucrats, and tales of the vicissitudes of daily life, a broader, more personal picture emerges of life under Stalin, and of his pervading shadow decades on. The author's moral integrity, stoicism and profound respect for the struggles of the common people stand out in this memoir of a life of self-effacing dedication.
Sign in to add a quote.
Sign in to add a review.