Tuesday 25 February 2014

New: The Adventures of Olivia Ozanne

As individuals we are small in the great pattern of things and  tend to comprehend great events by making them personal. We remember where we were, what we were doing on 9/ll. Some of us remember where we were, what we were doing, when Jack Kennedy was assassinated.

The recent Winter Olympics in Moscow with its elegant closing ceremony and, in tragic parallel, the violent conflict in the ex-Soviet city of Kiev brought to my mind a visit I made to Moscow in 1991 just
Moscow 1991 Coup
after the Yeltsin coup which saw the Soviet Empire cracking at its centre. The city was buzzing with tales of recent events. On weird one was of the wife of the American ambassador distributing pizza to the people on the barricades.

I experienced this post-coup buzz from the centre of the privileges press/diplomatic community in Moscow. As a child of the cold war I realised I was being offered an historic insight and I should make note of it. In three weeks I accumulated six notebooks full of sketches and notes, recording what I heard and what I saw.

Of course there have been – and continue to be - many historical analyses of the politics and processes of the 1991 events. As I said we as individuals are small in the face of great events  and   and remember them at a personal level. As I writer, my reaction to these personal events was in my six notebooks

As a novelist – some years on – I used my notebooks as the basis of  a novel about a middle aged woman visiting Moscow just after the Yeltsin Coup. I have called the novel Journey To Moscow – The Adventures of Olivia Ozanne.

Coincidentally just yesterday I received the first box of the paperback of this novel, which is also now
on Kindle. There is something wonderful about the smell and feel of books that started in your own notebooks, on your own desk. They pile up so nicely.

And as I turn the beautifully fresh pages those crucial days come back, mint fresh, when I as a small individual experienced what was a world event.

The novel is fiction of course but I hope, because of the personal  impact of my experience, that it has real truth at its core.

The Novel? Well this is a first reader’s take on it:

The Adventures of Olivia Ozanne  First Reader Review: 

'Olivia Ozanne is the writer abroad, the stranger alone, a woman who can see the surface of things and beyond. Well rid of her ex Kendrick and his leather sofa fetish, she comes to stay with her daughter Caitlin. This is post-glasnost Moscow with its fallen statues, burgeoning mafia, newly restored churches, its phones tapped but no longer listened in to, a city that demands hard currency. 
Through Olivia’s eyes we see into the heart of this city and its people. We peer inside their tiny flats into their constricted interior lives, where we meet the mysterious Aunties whose surprising histories, stretching back to the revolution, are slowly uncovered by Olivia. 
    This is a richly painted canvas of an iconic city, in many ways relevant to our understanding of the Russia of today. It is a story about a woman in search of a new self and it’s hard not to fall in love with Olivia with her enormous appetite for life or for that matter her lover Volodya whom she meets at the flower stall.'

I'm hoping you like it too. If you read it and like it - and have a minute - would you be so kind as to write a short comment on Olivia's Amazon page  ... w

On Kindle and in Paperback 

 r comprehensible


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