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A Partial History of Lost Causes

A Partial History of Lost Causes

4.5 4
by Jennifer duBois

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In Jennifer duBois’s mesmerizing and exquisitely rendered debut novel, a long-lost letter links two disparate characters, each searching for meaning against seemingly insurmountable odds.

In St. Petersburg, Russia, world chess champion Aleksandr Bezetov begins a quixotic quest. With his renowned Cold War–era tournaments behind him, Aleksandr has

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A Partial History of Lost Causes 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
ofabookworm More than 1 year ago
Irina Ellison has spent most of her life watching her father die, standing by as Huntington's destroyed first his body, and then his mind. His demise is a map of what her own will be; her own diagnosis gives her the certainty that she will one day lose control of her body and mind as certainly as he did, though she can only guess when it will begin. First a twitch of an arm, then a loss of control, then a loss of memory, of self, of personality. Her entire life becomes a question she seems incapable of answering: how should she live, if she knows it is all for naught? "My major character flaw," she writes, "is an inability to invest in lost causes. When you are the lost cause, this makes for a lonely life." A Partial History of Lost Causes is a novel of love and loss, politics and games, strategies and defeats, and all of the little moments that make up a life before a life is swept away by a death. It is a reminder to appreciate what we have, to value what we've had, and to look forward to what is yet to come. It is the kind of novel you want to rush through, desperate to find out what happens, but also the kind you want to read carefully, to savor, to understand. It is also, incidentally, the best book I've read all year.
AngieJG More than 1 year ago
This book was good in that it was so different from the usual plot of novels. I will not go into a summary of the story. Many others will do that for me. I am not a chess person. I never had any desire to learn the game, so I was a bit lost with the chess metaphors. I thought the parallel American storyline was interesting, but didn't feel it gel with the chess player's story. The author made a good attempt at bringing these two stories together, but it seemed like she was reaching a bit. I am a follower of Russian history, and felt this book gave me a good idea of the more current Russia. It left me with a sad, desolate feeling that the Russians have always struggled and will continue to forever. It seems they never get a break. The government is and always will be corrupt. So, for me, I liked the book more from the current political happenings in Russia than the chess storyline or even the American woman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago