Ian and Dima face the anguish of parting — each in his own way.
Meanwhile, Dima’s Soviet-general father is on the move, much closer than they believe. Life is not a fairytale, say Dima and his hard princess of an aunt.
Are they right?
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I named General Borin in honor of one of my teachers, a Soviet naval officer defector. When I close my eyes and see Dima’s Aunt Svetlana, I remember Professor Borin’s regal wife. She was tall and stately, with a hard dignity about her that I imagined took root in a life of sadness and hardship.
She also taught in the Russian program I entered after college, but she was never my teacher, which pleased me. Her reputation was one of a demanding taskmaster who brooked no excuses. I did like her, though, in social settings. While she could be hard, she was very perceptive, never cruel, and always an excellent storyteller.
I may be adding chapters in the future to more fully treat the older generation in this novel. Svetlana and the personality I imagine for her will feature heavily if I do.
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