Moscow, 1985. Four teenagers – Anya, Milka, Petya and Aleksey, whose lives, like those of their Western counterparts, are fuelled by sex, alcohol and cigarettes – yearn for a world of Levi’s, Queen, foreign travel and the freedom to choose their fates. Instead, they encounter heartbreak and tragedy, while all around them Soviet policies, cruel but familiar, are giving way to untested concepts such as glasnost and perestroika and a brief flourishing of hope before the next repressive regime take root.
This is the hour between dog and wolf, twilight, when one state has ended and another has not quite begun. Although it depicts a chaotic and desperate era, this exceptional debut novel pulsates with life. It is radiant with friendship and love, the power of international literature, values and politics, as its characters struggle to survive, to save their country and one another.