Elise Blackwell is first time lucky with the stunning debut of her novel, Hunger. A deeply moving tale of survival and betrayal set during the 900-day siege of Leningrad during World War II, Hunger is a short book that will live long in one’s memory. Based upon a true story, Hunger follows a group of scientists through the deprivation of the “hungry winter.” Guardians of a vast collection of seeds, the scientists make a vow at the beginning of the siege to protect their collection at all costs. But as the days pass, starvation takes its terrible toll and the determination of both the noble and not so noble falters. Only a few possess the fortitude and willpower it takes to withstand temptation. One of the scientists, himself no stranger to life’s temptations, recalls what separated the disciplined minority—his long-suffering wife, Alena, among them—from the masses who surrender to basic human need.
Hunger is a captivating novel that even the most discriminating of readers will enjoy. With her beautiful phrasing, intriguing characters and her thorough knowledge of history, Blackwell weaves a spell that keeps you turning the pages.