Sep 23

Despite the Falling Snow by Shamim Sarif Review by Frances Colville

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despite the following snow book reviewDespite the Falling Snow by Shamim Sarif was first published in 2010 but has recently been reissued by John Blake to coincide with the release of the film (starring Charles Dance and Rebecca Ferguson) written and directed by Sarif herself.  Two previous books, I Can’t Think Straight and The World Unseen have also been made into films.


Set partly during the Cold War in the post-Stalinist Moscow of the 1950s and partly in Boston forty years later, this is a vivid portrayal of love, life and loss.  It’s a very visual book, made to be filmed, and at the same time a gripping read with some interesting twists and turns.  A thriller with a difference, in fact.


But what I really like about this book is that it is essentially a love story with a spy story background, rather than – as is so often the case – the other way around.  And although the main character, the central character, is a man, we are drawn from the beginning into the lives of the women in the story and much of the story is told through their eyes rather than Alexander’s.  This might sound confusing, but in fact it makes for a clever, well-plotted and well-written novel which works on several different levels.  I think it will make an excellent film and it’s certainly a good read.


Despite the Falling Snow by Shamim Sarif pub.   John Blake. £7.99