A Woman's Voice

Book Reviews ~ Anya’s Story

Julia Gousseva
Anya’s Story by Author Julia Gousseva

Talented Author Julia Gousseva has done it again! She has penned another captivating novel for both the young and older reading audience. It is chockfull of a combination of Russian history and romance which is bound to capture the interest of the most discerning readers who enjoy this genre.

Best friends, Anya and Katia are finishing up their last year of high school in Moscow and are enjoying their time together before their new life commences as college students. Anya’s boyfriend Victor, is off to navy military school in Leningrad to fulfill his dream of working on a submarine. As he embarks on this career choice, Anya already misses him as his arduous training will occupy him for five years. The first two years are the most vigorous and they will not be able to fulfill their dream of marrying and spending the rest of their lives together as planned, at least not for some time in the near future.

On the home front, Anya’s parents decide to entertain some old friends that they haven’t seen for years. They come over to enjoy a meal and bring their now, twenty-one year old son with them. Yuri, is also a trainee at the military academy in Leningrad. However, due to his more senior status, when Anya and Katia go to Victor’s oath taking ceremony, it is Yuri who has the time to show them the sights.

Anya….the protagonist in this descriptive and charming novel is forced to face great disappointment and what she considers to be betrayal from Victor, the love of her life. In her innocence and naivety, she is extremely hurt by what appears to be Victor’s duplicity and finds much solace and comfort in the open arms of Yuri. They share a warm friendship before Yuri unexpectantly proposes to the much surprised and somewhat confused Anya. She sees no reason to refuse and accepts his proposal. They marry a few short months later. After graduation, Yuri is posted at a northern military base, Vidayevo in Murmansk, where Anya discovers the friendship of a lovely couple from Georgia.

When Yuri gets his first assignment…a three month stint on the submarine K-626, Anya continues with her correspondence courses. When she returns to Moscow to write her exams, she contacts her dear friend Katia and has the opportunity to share a fun-filled time with her, her husband Evgeni, and some of their old high school friends. Unbeknownst to Anya, Victor arrives with one of his naval academy friends, Fyodor. When Fyodor and Anya have a few moments alone, he inadvertently shares a story with her about Victor and Yuri that has lasting and irreversible ramifications…

I absolutely loved this fictional novel. Author Julia Gousseva’s writing style is wonderfully refreshing….no sexually explicit scenes….no cursing…just great old-fashioned story telling….a gifted raconteur at her best. She adeptly pens a realistic story that reaches out from the written page and grabs at the heartstrings in an indescribable and heart wrenching way. I enjoyed every word of this novel and I could literally not put it down. I especially love this quote from the book and feel it needs to be shared. It’s about the special bell that Anya kept as a memento of her grandmother’s words…“Bells keep our souls alive, revive us, and remind us that life always moves forward”. Now Anya, at such a young age and with all her past trials and tribulations, must heed this sage advice.

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte


One Response to 'Book Reviews ~ Anya’s Story'

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  1. jgousseva said,

    Reblogged this on All Things Russian: Stories, Culture, and Food.

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