"The author gave me a review copy, but my opinion is what it would have been if I had bought this book.
This book, which is based on a true story, doesn't read as an autobiography at all. That basically sums it up I'm very happy to say so.
It tells the story of the author but not by the author and in no way telling. If that makes any sense. Let me explain this a little better. This book reads as if it is pure fiction. A love story about two lives coming together and overcoming difficulties.
It is peppered with facts only one who has been to the USSR can know, but not in a way that distracts from the pleasure of reading the story. They enhance the story, giving it depth and volume. The glossary in the last section of the book wasn't used by me, because the author managed to use the foreign terminology in a way I didn't need to look up the words to know what she meant. The scenes are set and show you life and love in Russia during the communistic regime.
The characters are fully developed and real. Within the first few pages you will root for them and wish them well, while you know there is despair in their future and hope it will not happen, whatever bad luck will no doubt disturb their happiness.
I will not spoil your pleasure of reading this book by revealing too much, but I do want to say this story has a happy end even if it is not fully revealed."
"Love Is Never Past Tense by Janna Yeshanova is a wonderful trip through the eventful life of the author. Her colourful descriptions of 1970s life in Odessa are so vivid I actually remember my own adventures during that period. She really got to grips with the way people talked back then and skilfully blended dialogue as only Russians speak. I was expecting first person here, but Janna used third instead and without losing any emotional impact. I take my hat off to her. Her love for Russia is evident in every word, phrase, sentence and page, imbuing the novel with a richness it so deserves. The sea-saw love story is well handled over a 40 year period without losing any impetus to the lives of Janna and Serge and their feelings. I loved this adventurous romance revolving around a part of history that tore mother Russia apart. Will those events tear Janna and Serge apart or is their love truly never past tense.
A FIVE STAR ROMANCE with its heart in the right place."
"Most romantic novels follow one story line: boy meets girl, boy sweeps girl off her feet, the couple has challenges to their romance; but love wins out and they live happily ever after.
In Love Is Never Past Tense, Janna Yeshanova dares to explore that "happily ever after" part. What happens when two young people meet and marry while they are madly in love, but whose differing life goals tear them apart?
Set in Russia while the Soviet Union fell, the book tells the story of a passion that refuses to go away. It paints its canvas with the rich and sometimes dark colors of the Russian spirit, at the same time giving non-Russian readers a fascinating glimpse into everyday life in a country that seems strange and distant to us.
Like most men, I do not generally care for romance novels. Too often, the genre seems to be filled with too much silliness, sweetness, and sentimentality; or with graphic sex lacking emotional context. This book is completely different. It speaks honestly of real adult emotions in real life.
A good romantic novel should entertain, but the best of them will stir the soul. Love Is Never Past Tense rewards the reader by doing both."
"This book is gripping from the first page. Janna brings to life a torrid love affair that unfolds during the Cold War Era, proving that love in the Soviet Union was anything but cold. There is no mushy romance here, but a genuine struggle to find love in spite of societal pressures and family expectations. Add to this a dangerous scheme to defect when malevolent forces threaten her life, and you have the makings of a genuine thriller.
I love the way Janna writes. From one paragraph to the next, you never know what to expect. This book did not insult my intelligence, like a lot of pop culture novels. It is intellectually engaging, written in a manner that Hemingway would have respected. It not only granted me the opportunity to see the U.S.S.R. from the inside like I had never seen it before, but it also brought back many memories of a time when I feared all Russians and had no understanding of what they were personally living through across the ocean.
I highly recommend this read. Love, suspense, and history at its best!"
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