After having completed the book I am still not sure what I feel about it. Love seems to be something that the main character President Bunin is constantly searching for and what un folds in the 40 years the story spans is that he has often loved no one or worst given everything to the state.
As the end draws near you expect some sort of dramatic climax and there are a few twists that you didn’t see coming but ultimately you are left with a sense of the air going out of a tyre rather than anything else.
Part of the reason for that is the lack of a conclusion. The sort of life where he is always at the brink of death or disappointment is set to continue as he signs up for a few more years as president.
This is a bitter look at life at the top of a former part of the Soviet Union and although the money and the aides are all well and good the sacrifices you make to stay there and the hollowness in your life that means you live without a heart are plain to see.
Mind you it feels great to actually finish a book for the first time in a couple of weeks. A review will follow soon…