American journalist Milly Bennett has covered murders in San Francisco, fires in Hawaii, and a civil war in China, but 1930s Moscow presents her greatest challenge yet. When her young Russian husband is suddenly arrested by the secret police, Milly tries to get him released. But his arrest reveals both painful secrets about her marriage and hard truths about the Soviet state she has been working to serve. Disillusioned and pulled toward the front lines of a captivating new conflict, Milly must find a way to do the right thing for her husband, her conscience, and her heart. Salt the Snow is a vivid and impeccably researched tale of a woman ahead of her time, searching for her true calling in life and love.
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- Syd Young
A Girl, a Woman, a thing called communism
I’ve been thinking about this book since reading it. Time to write it down!
I love how Carrie writes about women I don’t know, and tells me things I should. I knew the Nazis first rounded up those who were different: gypsies, innocent children with disabilities, and persons of different sexual preference (layers, too, I imagine). I should have guessed that the Communists did, too. I appreciated this viewpoint about such treatment.
Milly Bennet begins as a silly girl who needs to wake up. At the same time she was very brave and idealistic. She fervently believes in Communism—until explicitly shown that she can’t. She finds herself in a quandary as one event leads to another and she must do what she can to survive. The point of the book is not just the brave feminine struggle, but the idealistic feminine awakening, the undeniable bravery of the women who went before us, and an examination of when (if ever) a woman must stop putting her youthful beliefs in front of her own welfare.
I’ve seen some comments that the second half of this book could have been more developed and I agree. I know the realities of book publishing, but with a story like this, more is better. More next time, Carrie. And keep it up. Keep showing us these women.
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