Innocence and Anarchy
Nikolai Bobrikov rises to prominence, becoming Governor General of Finland. He finds that his power allows him to further continue the oppressive ways of the Czar, regardless of the horrific results that come from his actions. In John Canzella’s Innocence and Anarchy, we see these actions and their consequences. We also get to see the opposite side, as the novel also follows Nicholas’s half-sister, Tatyana, who happens to be a serf. Being separated from her half-brother, she first goes to France, becoming involved in the Paris Commune of 1871. Then she goes to Finland, where she finds that it’s under the oppression of her half-brother. We are shown the different paths the two siblings have taken, and they way they ultimately change the history of the nation.
At first I wasn’t sure if this book would mesh with my literary tastes, but I found myself rather enjoying the story. Bits of the book for me were a bit slow, yet the chapters were short, and I found that it was an easy read once the story got going. Historical events are mixed in with fiction, giving it that layered feel. I believe that history buffs will love this book. It is a bit lengthy, but it is well worth the read.