The Nevsky Wall is a story that spans a year in the city of Leningrad, starting on the first day of summer, 1941, the day prior to the German invasion of the Soviet Union. It follows the lives of two brothers, Alex and Viktor Rostov, and those closest to them. Alex is a newsreel cameraman who also works at Lenfilm Studio, a position he obtained through his relationship with Larissa Tarkova, one of Lenfilm’s leading actresses. Vera Mizina, with whom Alex has had a long and complicated romantic history, is a doctor at the Leningrad Children’s Hospital. Viktor, the older brother, is a family man who works for the city fire brigade as a truck driver. Their mother, Elena, is only now coming to terms with the shock of her husband’s disappearance four years earlier. And standing in the background is the shadowy figure of Boris Gamerev, a man with powerful connections and surprising influence.
Their lives are about to be shattered by the terror of war and the blockade of the city. As the circle tightens, fear and despair test the most basic of human relationships, and a city, already fractured by Stalinist paranoia, is on the verge of collapse. At a crucial point in the story Alex is asked, “What is a life worth? What is your life worth?” Each player in this tale, in their own way, must find an answer to that question.
The Nevsky Wall is a breathtaking work of survival, deception, cruelty, and sacrifice amid the chaos of war. It’s about the power of images and the pull of faith. It’s also a very personal story about simple acts of humanity and the unbreakable bond between two brothers.
The publishing world is rapidly changing, and it can be difficult to introduce the work of a new author to the public. That’s why we’ve decided to use the web to return to the days of the serial novel. We’ll be publishing chapters of the book every Friday, so you can enjoy it over the weekend. Publishing in this way also gives us the opportunity to get comments from you, the readers, and we encourage you to tell us what you think (good, bad, and otherwise) in the comments block at the end of each chapter. And if you like what you read, please recommend it to your friends.