The Red Scarf

Written by Kate Furnivall
Review by Andrea Connell

The Red Scarf is an epic tale of survival and hope in Stalinist Russia. It is 1933, and Sofia and Anna have already been incarcerated in Davinsky Labor Camp in Siberia for several years. They have forged a strong friendship that helps them survive the grueling work, starvation, and suffering, but Anna grows more sick and frail every day. Sofia decides to risk her own life to save Anna’s. She makes a daring escape and crosses thousands of miles of Siberian wilderness in the hopes of finding Anna’s former love, Vasily, the only hope of saving her friend.

In a remote village, where a gypsy family nurses her to health, she finds a man who she believes to be Anna’s love. He’s also everything she ever wanted. How strong is Sofia’s commitment to rescuing her friend when she is so tantalizingly close to freedom, family, and passion?

Kate Furnivall has a gift for enveloping the reader in the bleak, paranoia-ridden world of Stalinist Russia while still leaving room for love and trust to blossom. The Red Scarf is a riveting narrative that is heavy on the heart. The plot, which smoothly flows between pre-revolutionary and Communist Russia, keeps readers entranced. In this poignant story rife with fear, yet imbued with hope, the major characters risk all for the slightest chance of freedom and happiness. Highly recommended.