A D Millar: Snowdrops

Snowdrop (n):

  1. An early-flowering bulbous plant, having a white pendent flower.
  2. Moscow slang. A corpse that lies buried or hidden in the winter snows, emerging only in the thaw.

Nick Platt is an English lawyer living in Moscow during the wild Russian oil boom. Riding the subway on a balmy September day, he rescues two willowy sisters, Masha and Katya, from a would-be purse snatcher.

Nick soon begins to feel something for Masha that he is pleased to believe is love. As the snow starts to fall, the sisters introduce him to Tatiana Vladimirovna, their aged aunt and the owner of a valuable apartment. Before summer arrives, Nick will travel down to the sweaty Black Sea and up to the Arctic, and he'll make disturbing discoveries about his job, his lover and, most of all, himself.

Snowdrops is a fast-paced drama that unfolds during a beautiful but lethally cold Russian winter. Ostensibly a story of naive foreigners and cynical natives, the novel becomes something richer and darker: a tale of erotic obsession, self-deception and moral freefall. It is set in a land of hedonism and desperation, corruption and kindness, magical hideaways and debauched nightclubs; a place where secrets, and corpses, come to light when the snows thaw.

"In Russia," Nick's friend Steve tells him, "there are no business stories. And there are no politics stories. There are no love stories. There are only crime stories."

Snowdrops is the first novel by A.D. Miller, formerly the Moscow correspondent of The Economist.

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  • Catherine K.

    Lively discussion, plenty to talk about from this book. I enjoyed reading it, and enjoyed talking about it even more. Great to welcome so many new people too.

    November 27, 2012

  • Alister M.

    Not my normal fare but simple to read and many things seemed to stay with me. I think the fact it was a first novel allow you to forgive some of the more annoying devices

    November 27, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    good !

    November 27, 2012

  • Catherine K.


    Includes an interesting Q&A with the author, and some questions for discussion- useful!

    1 · October 30, 2012

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