An Ethereal Beauty
Brisbane by Eugene Vodolazkin (translated by Marian Schwartz) is an epic contemporary novel that drew me in from the start.
It is a novel that focuses on a life in both relatively present day and the 1970’s moving forwards.
Brisbane is also a celebration of the arts – Gleb is a musician but he also loves words, exploring their impact in the novel. He is conflicted between the Russian and the Ukrainian in him.
The main character has a mixed relationship with his father, also a musician, who seems to enjoy putting his son down. Gleb strives to make his father proud.
In contrast there is a loving relationship with his grandfather who sustains and encourages Gleb. He also introduces him to God. Religion was not encouraged in Soviet Russia as a communist country, when Gleb was growing up. Gleb dreads having the dilemma as to whether to acknowledge his faith or to deny it. Gleb finds comfort in knowing God.Continue reading