06 June 2008 ~ 1 Comment

My Russian by Deirdre McNamer


I absolutely hated the selfish, self-centered, lying, insane main character. I also hated the selfish, self-serving, pretentious husband of hers. Oh, and the son… OMG, the son… oh, just nevermind, I could go on. I don’t think there was even one character I liked here.

I really wanted to like this book and, in this case, not like the characters didn’t really affect me as much. I was MUCH more distracted by the prose, the flowery language. I consider myself to be a reasonably bright person, but this book made me feel like it was a chore at times. Just get ON with the story, ya know?

I admit I had someone else pegged for the ending, but it was so predictable that I felt like throwing the book across the room when it was “revealed”

Not bad if you like flowery language and don’t mind hating the characters :p


“One morning I stood on the back deck of our handsome house and I realized that my interior self, the self I did not present to the world or even to those closest to me, seemed to have burned out.” So confesses Francesca Woodbridge, the narrator of Deirdre McNamer’s novel. Francesca rekindles herself with plans for a garden, which lead to a lover – her Russian gardener, a refugee from Chernobyl. Now Francesca is supposedly in Greece with a tour group, but she is actually living in disguise just blocks from where her husband, Ben, and her teenage son await her return. Ben, a lawyer, is recovering from a gunshot wound inflicted some months earlier by a mysterious intruder. Francesca tells a series of stories that traverse the past four decades, beginning with her childhood in a prairie town ringed by underground missiles aimed at Russia. Her voice is searching, specific, unsparing, and sometimes darkly funny. In the process of listening, we learn who shot her husband, a modest mystery that rests on a larger one: for, a woman like Francesca Woodbridge, what makes a fully lived, fully conscious life?

One Response to “My Russian by Deirdre McNamer”

  1. MyUtopia 6 June 2008 at 3:11 pm Permalink

    I guess I will pass on this one: ) I heard the PS I Love You was good, but haven’t had a chance to see it.

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