This novel is a major literary discovery, and Odrach is drawing favorable comparisons with such eminent writers as Chekhov and Solzhenitsyn. Odrach wrote in Ukrainian, while living an exile's life in Toronto. This remarkable book is a microcosm of Soviet history, and Odrach provides a first-hand account of events during the Stalinist era that newsreels never covered. It has special value as a sensitive and realistic portrait of the times, while capturing the internal drama of the characters with psychological concision. Odrach creates a powerful and moving picture, and manages to show what life was really like under the brutal dictatorship of Stalin, and brings cataclysmic events of history to a human scale.