|About the Book|
Medea Georgievna Sinoply Mendez is an iconic figure in her Crimean village, the last remaining pureblooded Greek in a family that has lived on that coast for centuries. Looking like a portrait Goya had omitted to paint in the widows black she hasMoreMedea Georgievna Sinoply Mendez is an iconic figure in her Crimean village, the last remaining pureblooded Greek in a family that has lived on that coast for centuries. Looking like a portrait Goya had omitted to paint in the widows black she has worn since the death of her husband - a jolly jewish dentist - many years before, the childless Medea is the touchstone of a large family of nieces and nephews who, together with their spouses, children, and friends, gather each spring and summer at her home.Ageless and unflappable, Medea greets each successive wave of visitors with calm warmth and welcome, and observes with interest their romantic entanglements, disappointments, conflicts, and passions. There are her nieces (the seductive and light-hearted Nike and the shy yet passionate Masha)- her nephew Georgii (who shares Medeas devotion to the Crimea)- and their friends, including Valerii Butonov, a circus performer turned sports trainer who has been pursued by women since he put on his first trousers. Herself unfailingly loyal and faithful, Medea watches her nieces and nephews fall in and out of marriages and affairs. These shifting currents of erotic attraction and competition intertwine with the dramatic saga of a family surviving the upheavals that characterized Soviet life in the twentieth century, as viewed through Medeas memories of the Russian Revolution and the two world wars, her parents early deaths, and her own late marriage. Ludmila Ultiskaya, one of contemporary Russias greatest novelists weaves the stories of the sprawling Sinoply family into a brilliantly detailed and richly textured tapestry.