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In the Ukrainian city of Poltava stands a building known as the Rooster House, an elegant mansion with two voluptuous red roosters flanking the door. It doesn't look horrifying. And yet, when Victoria was a girl growing up in the 1980s, her great-grandmother would take pains to avoid walking past it.

In 2014, while the Russian state was annexing Crimea, Victoria visited her grandmother in Bereh, the hamlet near Poltava that was a haven in her childhood. Just before the trip she came across her great-grandfather's diary, one page scored deep with the single line: 'Brother Nikodim, vanished in the 1930s fighting for a free Ukraine.' She had never heard of this uncle and no one - especially her grandmother - seemed willing to tell her about him.

Victoria became obsessed with recovering his story, and returned to her birth country again and again in pursuit of it. In the end, after years of sifting through Ukraine's post-Soviet bureaucracy, after travelling to tiny, ruined villages and speaking to the wizened survivors of that era, her winding search took her back to the place she had always known it would - to the Rooster House, and the dark truths contained in its basement.

Format: Paperback
Publication Date: 4 April 2024
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780349017341 Category: Tags: ,

The Rooster House

13.60

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