The Forsaken by Tim Tzouliadis is an important and tragic piece of history.
This is an extremely well researched book and tells the forgotten and relatively unknown story of families who emigrate to Russia from America during the era of the American Depression in the hope of a new life only to become victims of Stalin's terror during his 5 year plan in which millions of Russians and thousands of Americans are brutally interrogated and either assassinated or sent to Gulags in Siberia. We learn of the nightmare of the secret police, nightly disappearances, famine gulags and torture that innocent people had to endure at the hands of a bizarre leader. I really felt the fear and the distrust of Russian citizens during this period of history throughout this book and while I have read quite a few books set around this time I had not realised so many American had been victims of Stalin's regime also.
There is much about this book that I would praise. It is extremely well researched and deals with a part of history that will educate and inform the reader and you know the information while harrowing and depressing is correct and the story brilliantly told. I learned a lot from this book and am so glad I read it.
A word of warning though the book reads like a history book as it is a very detailed piece of work and at times I did find it slow reading as there is a huge amount of information to digest but the book was a fantastic account of thousands of Americans who moved to the Soviet Union only to perish or be imprisoned in the harsh and cruel gulags. I had not been aware or read about this anywhere until I came across this book on Goodreads.
I really felt the book could have benefited with photographs of 1930s Russia and also a map of areas mentioned would have been so helpful as I think it is important to give the reader a better idea of the setting.
Overall a powerful historical read and a book that will stay with me for a long time.