Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Learning about little known events in history is a big perk to reading these books and I continue to be fascinated by how much I still need to learn about the past.
I knew going into Red Year that I knew very little about China or the Soviet Union in the 1920s. And what I discovered is that there was a lot of interesting and exciting things taking place in this part of the world then.
Rayna is in China with her husband, a journalist, looking for adventure. While there she begins an affair with Mikhail Borodin, a Russian Communist leader who is in China trying to help out there. Her relationship with him leads her to Russia as she engineers a way to accompany the widow of the Chinese revolution to Moscow.
Since Rayna initially embarked on a trip to China with her husband in search of adventure, she cannot be disappointed with how things turn out. Her life is full of adventure. When the idea of returning to Chicago doesn't excite her she applies to an espionage school to learn how to become a spy.
While this is a work of fiction, the events of the time period are fascinating. My own experiences in high school history class were dismal at best and I know that nothing was ever explained or discussed about this time period or place. I love that Shapin was able to bring this era to life and develop a story around it.
Shapin has a few other books available which I am intrigued by. This one was a delight to read.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of this book for my review. All opinions expressed are, as always, my own.
Tina - Thanks for such a lovely review of Red Year. It was great fun to write as well. FYi, for your readers, Rayna was a real person who did get into a complicated fix. A true American innocent abroad. And do check out my other novels. Jan Shapin
I'm a big fan of Russian and Soviet history but I don't know a great deal about the 1920s there. I'm looking forward to reading this one!
Thanks for being a part of the tour.
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