I received the nicest letter from a woman who came to the U.S. from Russia in 1978. As someone who lived and breathed the time I write about in my book, her feedback and perspective is very interesting and important to me. Here is a portion of her letter:
I almost feel that I know you in person, after reading your book. The account of your ordeal made an interesting and emotional story, and I have enjoyed every page.
In 1978, I left the Soviet Union with my family and was very busy for a long time settling down in America, learning English, becoming employable, and helping family members from young to old with all kinds of problems. My brother, who left in 1974, was close to some of the “refuseniks” and leaving Russia at almost 19 years of age, encountered, along with our family, the stupidity and unnecessary bureaucratic cruelty of the Soviet regime. So, in reading your book, I really went on a trip into my past. Our family was gone from there in 1978. We joined the “Let my People Go” campaign here in Milwaukee, along with our American cousins.
You not only put together a great and emotional story, but described the atmosphere of the stagnant and archaic country that was doomed to fall apart eventually.
My daughter also read the book, and through it, was able to see, in a small scope, where her parents and grandparents came from. We were both touched to the core by Inna’s life and imminent end.
Sometimes it’s very important to look back and remember. As for our young, it’s a book about the past that provides an understanding of how great our present is.
Best wishes to you and your family, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.