Salt the snow
Title:Salt the Snow.
The author is Carrie Callaghan’.
The publisher is Amberjack Publishing.
The ISBN number is 9781948705646
Told between two separate years , American journalist Milly Bennett takes readers inside the newsroom where she tries to have her stories printed in the Moscow Daily News yet knowing the often slash words, paragraphs or entire stories. The air is filled with ice, wind and snow both in 1931, and in 1934 when buildings lack heat, offices are as cold as they are outside and Milly struggles with daily life.
In the more present year or 1934 she is faced with a horror when walking into her home, finding in the middle of the night her home searched by the secret police, a warrant for everything in their hands and even her possessions looked at before the end result is the arrest of her young husband. Zhenya is arrested in front of her, she makes several attempts to bring him food and other essentials only to be dismissed and not allowed to see him but why? Telling her superior at the paper that the OGPU is responsible for the arrest she pleads with him to help find out who to call so she can see him . The response sends her reeling and he superior is only concerned that he and others will be arrested if she continue but Milly is unstoppable and approaches someone else to do her bidding. But will it work?
Flashing back to 1931 we join Milly and her courtship with Zhenya and then the excitement of chasing and writing a story that would bring to light the hardships so many people in Russia in different occupations are facing in order to find places to sleep, live and find food. You can hear the moans, feel their pain and even the weather provides in both years hardships, difficulties and pain just trying to stay warm and safe.
Flashbacks to 1931 help readers understand Milly got her stories out with the go of an ally named Ruth and then joining Party’s Writers Union and would have her own foodbook and access to the subsidized stores. The Soviet Uniob was still struggling yet she thought people’s lives were improving.
In the present she demanded to see the Senior Prosecutor to find out the charges against her husband. Not even told his trial and sentencing took place and the fact the he was supposedly convicted of immoral behavior and homosexuality. Why did he confess? She was determined to get him out and prove his innocence but who would be on her side?
Political unrest, freedom of the press suppressed as Milly realizes that times have not changed and the world living i. Russia is not the same as anywhere else.
In the past we learn more about her job as a reporter, her marriage to Zhenya and the friendships she created but in the present things got tense, she finally sees Zhenya and when trying to ask about the truth behind his sentence the guards restricted the convo, got an interpreter and barely told her where he was being sent. Secrets, lies, betrayals and political differences and a country that curved the rights and freedoms of anyone living there, Milly proves to be her own driving force but how far can it will she go for justice for Zhenya?
Times change and friendships are frayed when Milly confronts Victor whose words caused her husband’s arrest and the interaction let’s you know she’s not forgiving him. Milly has a sting personality but you often wonder where her loyalties lie as she hopes fir socialism but in the end she wants to join the commune party. Her life takes different turns and she decides to divorce her husband but never seems short of more. Strong minded and working for numerous papers Milly is quite a force to remember.
Milly wrote for many papers but the one that brings the horrors of war and the physical and mental damage to the soldiers, their spirits and ideologies is when she wrote an honest, graphic and article for the Foreign Press Bureau witnessing the carnage and danger first hand along with another reporter named Constancia. But when she presented the well documented article why did the editor burn it?
Truths were hidden and the only positive thing to come out was meeting Hans and their journey is not over as they realize that the future might be uncertain but will they venture ahead together? A story toke by author Carrie Callaghan so graphically and vividly depicted you feel every gunshot, witness each battle and endure her disappointments and her triumphs living in Russia then Spain, and returning to the United States. But, the coldness of the times and the heartlessness of so many could not provide warmth and comfort in a land where they did not Salt the Snow.