1867, Ryazan, a Russian city in winter. Ten-year-old Konstantin, deafened by scarlet fever, dreams of flight - escaping to Moscow, fleeing to the silent stars. And his daring visions, pregnant with humanity's future, will take him further than anyone could believe.
Moving from wolf-infested forests to the brothels of Moscow, from village life to the wondrous Age of Steam, from appalling tragedy to the discovery of a great love, Konstantin tells the beguiling story of a man who imagined the unimaginable: turning the dream of space travel into a reality.
As vivid and evocative as Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Konstantin is a story of man, nature, and the limitless power of the imagination.
Praise for Konstantin:
'Convincing, lyrical. Bullough has set Konstantin squarely before us as a living, thinking, ingenious human being' John Banville
'Konstantin is that rare creature, the practical dreamer, a hero at the dawn of modernity. Beautifully written . . . a real achievement' Andrew Miller, author of Pure
'Enchanting, wonderfully eloquent. A very alluring read' Time Out
Tom Bullough was born in 1975 and is the author of two previous novels. He lives in Breconshire, in mid-Wales, with his wife and young son.
It is 1989 and Daria Gradov is an elderly grandmother living in the rural West. What neighbors and even her children don't know, however, is that she is not who she claims to be—the widow of a Russian immigrant of modest means. In actuality she began her life as the Grand Duchess Tatiana, known as Tania to her parents, Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra.
And so begins the latest entrancing historical entertainment by Carolly Erickson. At its center is young Tania, who lives a life of incomparable luxury in pre-Revolutionary Russia, from the magnificence of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg to the family's private enclave outside the capital. Tania is one of four daughters, and the birth of her younger brother Alexei is both a blessing and a curse. When he is diagnosed with hemophilia and the key to his survival lies in the mysterious power of the illiterate monk Rasputin, it is merely an omen of much worse things to come. Soon war breaks out and revolution sweeps the family from power and into claustrophobic imprisonment in Siberia. Into Tania's world comes a young soldier whose life she helps to save and who becomes her partner in daring plans to rescue the imperial family from certain death.
In a single moment, a double twist decides Alexander’s future. During an epic tale, spanning two continents and thirty years, we follow Alexander through triumph and defeat as he sets out on parallel lives as Alex in New York and Sasha in London. As this unique story unfolds, both come to realize that to find their destiny they must face the past they left behind as Alexander in Russia.
The quest leads Evie deep into the heart of the Russian émigré community of Paris. With the world on the brink of war, she becomes embroiled in murder plots, conspiracies, and illicit love affairs as White Russian faces Red Russian, and nothing is as it seems.
When Evie meets Jean, a liberal Russian refugee connected to her grandmother’s circle, she thinks she has finally found the passion and excitement she’s yearned for all her life. But is she any nearer to discovering the identity of the mysterious Zhenya or to uncovering the heartbreak of her grandmother’s past?
This beautiful, illuminating tale of hope and courage is based on interviews that were conducted with Holocaust survivor and Auschwitz-Birkenau tattooist Ludwig (Lale) Sokolov—an unforgettable love story in the midst of atrocity.
“The Tattooist of Auschwitz is an extraordinary document, a story about the extremes of human behavior existing side by side: calculated brutality alongside impulsive and selfless acts of love. I find it hard to imagine anyone who would not be drawn in, confronted and moved. I would recommend it unreservedly to anyone, whether they’d read a hundred Holocaust stories or none.”—Graeme Simsion, internationally-bestselling author of The Rosie Project
In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.
Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.
One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.
A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.