key selling points
â€¢ A powerful and compelling saga inspired by true events
â€¢ Follows a family in the 20th century as they negotiate Stalinist terrors, Nazi slavery, and British colonial brutality
Negotiating their way through Stalinist terrors, Nazi slavery and British colonial brutality, Pasha Zayky and
his wife, Tanya, tell first-hand how a loving family fight for survival during the hell of the twentieth century.
Readers follow this family from a war-torn Berlin to a forbidding post-war London, with flash-backs to
1930s Soviet Russia along the way, until they arrive in Africa where nationalist forces are challenging
British rule. Returning to the glamour and menace of 1960s London, a grandson, Misha, is born and
raised by his baboushka Tanya. With Misha taking over as narrator the story ends with a chance
meeting in the Russian city of Krasnodar in the early 1990s.
In their struggle, Pasha and Tanya must embrace each prevailing dogma, subtly editing their
back-story accordingly, but at the cost of stealing the truth from subsequent generations. We are
left to wonder, how many memories are merely lies?
An intriguing story, with revealing in depth research and comparisons of the hardships endured by the oppressed, irrespective of whether they were in Russia, Germany or even Kenya.
Throughout the tale, there is also a strong human story of personal endeavour linked to the enduring value of real talent, irrespective of the circumstances in which the individuals encounter.
The characterisation of the main participants is rather austere and controlled. Only occasionally does the author allow himself to delight in the liveliness and warmth of his cast, most noticeably with the actress Greta in her faded elegance but unbroken spirit.
Altogether this is a most interesting book with some revealing insights. Maybe next time the author can allow a little more joy to enter in to uplift the spirits along the way.
by T J Forrest
Born in South London, Johnnie Gallop left school at 16 and worked for 32 years before quitting to take
his A Levels and attending the London School of Economics. He worked out the plot for A Memory
of Lies whilst at university and is now working on his next novel