My Mother's Secret: A Novel of the Jewish Autonomous Region
With his dying breath, Lena's father asks his family a cryptic question: "You couldn't tell, could you?" After his passing, Lena stumbles upon the answer that changes her life forever.
As her revolutionary neighbor mysteriously disappears during Josef Stalin's Great Terror purges, 18-year-old Regina suspects that she's the Kremlin's next target. Under cover of the night, she flees from her parents' communal apartment in 1930s Moscow to the 20th century's first Jewish state, Birobidzhan, on the border between Russia and China. Once there, Regina has to grapple with her preconceived notions of socialism and Judaism while asking herself the eternal question: What do we owe each other? How can we best help one another? While she contends with these queries and struggles to help Birobidzhan establish itself, love and war are on the horizon.
New York Times Bestselling author Alina Adams draws on her own experiences as a Jewish refugee from Odessa, USSR as she provides readers a rare glimpse into the world's first Jewish Autonomous Region. My Mother's Secret is rooted in detailed research about a little known chapter of Soviet and Jewish history while exploring universal themes of identity, love, loss, war, and parenthood. Readers can expect a whirlwind journey as Regina finds herself and her courage within one of the century's most tumultuous eras.
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Praise for My Mother's Secret
"An eye opening family saga. Adams weaves an engrossing tale through little known history that feels both exotic and chillingly familiar. My Mother's Secret will stay with you long after you've read the last page."
- Kyra Davis, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Just One Night, Pure Sin and Sophie Katz series
"My Mother's Secret by Alina Adams is a page-turner that has it all: a compelling mystery, sharp insights into Soviet history, a sense of humor, and a complicated and fascinating cast of characters to boot."
- Maria Kuznetsova, author of Oksana, Behave! and Something Unbelievable
"Alina Adams' My Mother's Secret is smart and sumptuous, wry and thoroughly immersive. It transports you to an important moment in Soviet-Jewish history that is more relevant than ever. A triumph."
- Irina Reyn, Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction winner and author of The Imperial Wife, Mother Country, and What Happened to Anna K
"Alina Adams captures the fragility, heartbreak, and humor of love. Truly, she had me from the first page."
- Susan Dansby, 7-time Emmy-Award-winning writer, The Young and the Restless, As the World Turns
"With her trademark wit and wisdom, Adams delivers another family saga, full of longing and richly-drawn historical details, that will surprise, delight and-ultimately-captivate you."
- Rebecca Hanover, NYT Times bestselling author of The Similars