The Red Scarf
Berkley, Jul 2008, $15.00
In 1933 Sofia Morozova struggles to survive her ordeal in Siberia’s Davinsky labor camp. She lives because she has a long term goal of freedom and a short term objective to keep the spirit of frail half-broken Anna Fedorina going; she knows Anna depends on her for her minuscule fading flicker of hope.
When Anna becomes ill, Sofia desperately seeks help, which means leaving the camp. She escapes in hopes of finding Anna's childhood love Vasily a revolutionary allegedly living in Tivil. Sofia meets factory director Mikhail Pashin, whom she believes is Vasily in disguise. As she falls in love with Mikhail, she refuses to act on her feelings because if he is Vasily, as she believes, he belongs to Anna.
This is a deep character driven tale starring two courageous women, a brave man, and the labor camp that is so vividly described it takes on a role of a horror figure. Sofia is wonderful as she survives the same way some people did the Nazi’s concentration camps a decade later by making friends to care for, thinking of the happiness in her past in Petrograd and believing in a future life beyond the death prison. The romance takes a back seat though well written and enhancing the overall plot as Kate Furnivall concentrates on a powerful historical that focuses on the horrors of the Siberian death camps.