Each chapter is a bonne bouche, possessing its own particular flavour, from sweet to acrid-bitter. Hobson's characters are often wonderfully quixotic and so is the spirit she finds everywhere at this crux in Russia's history. She drinks with derelicts, hangs out with gypsies, and watches investigators go about the grim business of exhuming purge victims, and giving them the Christian burial they have been denied for seventy years. Her style is deft: she manages to render the scenes through which she passes with needle-sharp precision.' Financial TimesThis witty and yet deeply moving, acutely observed tale of Charlotte Hobson's year in Russia takes us to the heart of a country many of us continue to be fascinated by and struggle to understand. Or as the TLS put it: 'Hobson writes with such beguiling directness that it is hard not to feel intimate with her and her characters. Few books evoke so much of Russian life, with so little effort.
Charlotte Hobson's first book, Black Earth City, won a Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. She lives in Cornwall with her husband, the writer Philip Marsden, and their two children.