The house by the Dvina is a beautifully written memoir about two families separated in culture but bond together by a Russian-Scottish marriage.
Eugenie Fraser was brought up in Russia and this story recounts her early childhood in Russia. The story begins with the meeting of her parents in Scotland where her mother Nelly meets her father Gherman Scholts a young German Businessman on the street and they young couple fall in love, marry and return to Archangel, a port city near the Arctic Circle where they will begin their marriage together.
I enjoyed this memoir very much, the writing is so imaginative and the scenes painted of Russian Winters are breathtaking. One of the descriptions from the train Journey in the opening chapters which drew me right in was ;
" The everlasting telegraph poles, the stations appearing for a fleeting moment, the neat square stacks of logs piled high on a siding, and always, always the frost. The endless rows of birches, their curly heads silvered by the frost, snow-laden pines standing close together deep in their winter sleep..................
I was amazed by the story of the journey Eugenie’s grandmother makes to St. Petersburg’s as a young married woman to rescue her husband who is about to be sent to Siberia. This harrowing journey is so well portrayed in the book the you experience every mile of that journey and by the end you wriggle your toes just to check that there is no frost bite.
There is so much in this book , it is filled with stories of Russian life, wonderful Christmas scenes, religious celebrations and much much more.
If you love Russian stories from the early 20th century and want a good book to draw you in and a book where the characters come to life then this is the book for you.