The Red Scarf

( 36 )

Overview


The Russian Concubine dazzled readers. Now, its gifted author delivers another sweeping historical novel.

Davinsky Labor Camp, Siberia, 1933: Only two things in this wretched place keep Sofia from giving up hope: the prospect of freedom, and the stories told by her friend and fellow prisoner Anna, of a charmed childhood in Petrograd, and her fervent girlhood love for a passionate revolutionary named Vasily.

After a perilous escape, Sofia ...

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The Red Scarf

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Overview


The Russian Concubine dazzled readers. Now, its gifted author delivers another sweeping historical novel.

Davinsky Labor Camp, Siberia, 1933: Only two things in this wretched place keep Sofia from giving up hope: the prospect of freedom, and the stories told by her friend and fellow prisoner Anna, of a charmed childhood in Petrograd, and her fervent girlhood love for a passionate revolutionary named Vasily.

After a perilous escape, Sofia endures months of desolation and hardship. But, clinging to a promise she made to Anna, she subsists on the belief that someday she will track down Vasily. In a remote village, she?s nursed back to health by a Gypsy family, and there she finds more than refuge?she also finds Mikhail Pashin, who, her heart tells her, is Vasily in disguise. He?s everything she has ever wanted?but he belongs to Anna.

After coming this far, Sofia is tantalizingly close to freedom, family?even a future. All that stands in her way is the secret past that could endanger everything she has come to hold dear?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Sophia Morozova's relationship with fragile Anna Fedorina begins through a small act of kindness at a 1930s Siberian labor camp. As the two inmates struggle daily to survive, they increasingly rely on each other for hope and comfort; when Anna falls ill, Sophia escapes, intending to find Anna's lifelong love, Vasily, and rescue Anna. Beautiful and charismatic, Sophia quickly becomes a force to reckon with in the town of Tivil, where she hopes to find Vasily, and her connections with powerful gypsy Rafik, the handsome factory director Mikhail Pashin and the stern but unreadable Aleksei Fomenko become satisfying sources of danger and desire. Furnivall (The Russian Concubine) paints a stark picture of rampant scarcity, grim regimentation and blaring propaganda in pre-WWII Soviet Russia. In pushing the limits of Sophia and Anna's love and friendship, she nicely pits small lives against a monolithic state, paradoxically composed of watchful villages. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Can a Russian Gypsy with mystical powers protect a wretched village from marauding soldiers and commissars? Does the daughter of a murdered priest succeed in springing her best friend from a Siberian labor camp? Will an innocent victim of the Gulag find her true love? Furnivall, whose previous novel, The Russian Concubine, was set in 1920s China, now moves to Siberia in 1933, when Stalin's agricultural collectivization policies sent millions to their deaths. Following the path of Dr. Zhivago and the more recent The People's Act of Love, this romantic confection can make a reader shiver with dread for the horrors visited on the two heroines imprisoned in a labor camp and quiver with anticipation for their happy endings. Furnivall shows she has the narrative skills to deliver a sweeping historical epic, but we get too much of a good thing with a too-convoluted plot and repetitive sufferings. Still, the novel arrives in time for great beach reading and will fit well into the popular fiction collections of most large public libraries.
—Barbara Conaty

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425221648
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 6/24/2008
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 497,398
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Kate Furnivall was born in Wales and currently lives in Devon, England. Married and the mother of two sons, she has working in publishing and television advertising. She drew inspiration for The Russian Concubine from her mother’s experiences as a White Russian refugee in China.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2008

    Grab a cup of coffee and settle in -- you won't be able to put it down!

    I picked this book up after reading The Russian Concubine, Furnivall's first book. I have to say, as much as I enjoyed TRC, this book is 10 times better!! Furnivall manages to blend a historically accurate depiction of Soviet Russia with a beautifully moving story of friendship and fate. The novel progresses at a comfortable pace, builds characters you truly care about, and follows a plot that will keep you enthralled! I am still recovering from the late nights when I simply could NOT put it down. I HIGHLY recommend this book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2012

    Great Read!

    Another great book by Kate Furnivall. I love this author!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2013

    Maggie

    Sighed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    Scarlet

    She sat down crying

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2013

    Good read

    I enjoyed the book it was well written it had good story line about two girls in labor camp who were able to develop such close friendship in such harsh times where most of the people only look out for themselves and their survival. The story is very sad it happens during Stalin regime where Russian country was starving, 80 % of population was in labor camps, people had to freedom of speech or any type of freedom and everyone was ratting others out for personal gain or because of fear. Anyway, one of the girls Sophia escape from labor camp in order to find her dying friend Anna first love Vasiliy so that he can help get her out of there. Story goes very well until in the middle of the book it becomes a little boring, Sophia reaches her destination she finds Vasiliy and then nothing happens so I was about to give up on the book but then something finally happens this crazy twist that I wasn’t expecting so my interest went back up and I finished the book, it had really good end so it was worth reading 400 something pages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    SnowStorm

    Great! I noticed you put "with" twice so you might want to watch for that grammer.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2013

    Applethorn's Tale

    Applethorn's Tale
    by (duh) Applethorn

    Prolouge:
    The stars shone brightly in the dark night sky, shining over the peaceful ThornClan camp. A soft breeze rippled through the camp, brushing the fur of the sleeping warriors and the drowsy apprentices. Everyone was asleep.
    Except one cat.
    Out of the apprentices' den crept a lithe shecat. She had soft cream-colored fur that looked silver in the moonlight, patched with with white, which appeared pale gray. Her eyes were two dots of blazing blue, shining brightly in the night shadows.
    As the apprentice left her den, she breathed a sigh of relief. But her relief was short-lived. A pale gray tom shifted slightly in his nest, and looked up, blinking his pale green eyes in confusion, and shaking his head groggily.
    "Dawnpaw?" the gray tom meowed, blinking rapidly and peering closer towards the cream shecat. "What are you doing out at this time of night?"
    The cream shecat shifted uncomfortably, and meowed akwardly, "Um, I can't sleep."
    "But Crystalshard led you all the way around the territory," the tom muttered. "On that patrol. And then you practiced battle moves untill sundown. You said you were so tired, you could sleep for a moon."
    Dawnpaw sighed, staring at her white paws. "Well, I was tired then, but I'm not tired now. I'm going to go for a walk, and mabye hunt a little."
    "I'll come with you," the pale gray tom offered kindly, slowly beginning to get to his paws.
    "No!" the cream-furred shecat meowed sharply, and the other apprentice froze. "I mean, um, I'd like to be alone for a bit, okay Ghostpaw?"
    Ghostpaw shrugged, than lay back down in his nest. "Okay. If anyone asks, I'll tell them where you went. But come back soon. You'll need to be well rested, because Finchstar has been hinting that our warrior assesments will be soon."
    "I'll come back soon, I promise," Dawnpaw reassured the gray tom, then quickly headed for the dirtplace. She could see the blue-gray shecat, Riverblaze, one guard duty, and didn't want to explain where she was going. The cream-furred apprentice glanced over her shoulder once more, and quickly exited through the secret dirtplace tunnel.
    The forest was quiet, apart from the faint rustling of leaves, and the far-off chirp of a cricket. Dawnpaw looked around cautiously, then hurried off.
    She headed for the border, where ThornClan and LightClan territories met, and paused. Her ears pricked for signs of another cat, she veered right and began to climb up the steep slope that led off of the territory.
    Dawnpaw reached a large, jagged boulder, and looked around. She felt a pang of worry, and her worry was quickly replaced by fear when a muscular red tom leaped out at her. Her yelp of suprise was stiffled as the red tom shoved her to the ground, pushing the air out of her.
    "Got you," the tom teased, his amber eyes light.
    "Robin!' Dawnpaw hissed playfully, shoving him off. "You scared me half to death!"
    "You aren't really angry," Robin meowed.
    "No. But guess what! Finchstar says that I can become a warrior soon!" the cream shecat meowed.
    "That's great!" the red tom said, but then he hesitated. "You'll come with me then, right?"
    Dawnpaw froze. "Um, I might."
    "Please?" Robin meowed. "I love you, and want to be with you. It's the only way."
    "I'll...I'll think about it," Dawnpaw meowed.
    Her heart felt heavy, and she sighed. Heartbreak was ahead of her, she knew that much. But she was still uncertain as to who she would choosein the end—her Clanmates, or the cat she loved.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Read it!

    This book is beautifully writen! I love all of Kate Furnivall's books (The Russian Concubine, The Girl from Junchow, and The Jewel of St. Petersburg). I have a passion for historical fiction, especially russian historical fiction. Kate's books are a godsend to me! The Red Scarf is a must read! The relationship between best friends Sophia and Anna is so moving. What those girls endure being imprisoned in Siberia is horrid. This book has everything from friendship, to love and romance, to thrills, as well as mysterious gypsy magic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Great book!

    I didnt even want the book to end! That was a great read!

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  • Posted February 28, 2011

    A wonderful read! Loved it! Read all her books!

    I love everything about this book. The plot-The twist-even gypsy hocus pocus:) The main thing is the time period..The way The author writes is beautiful. I read this book after the authors other trilogy (The jewel of St. Petersburg, The Russian concubine, and the girl from Jen-chow) and became familiar with the Russian revolution so this book was a great ending for me. All these books are a must read!

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  • Posted October 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful!

    In my opinion, Kate Furnivall is a master storyteller. Under any normal circumstances, I wouldn't pick up the books she writes based on the summaries given, because I can tell, by the summary, that there is a lot of real life anguish that is going to happen which is what I usually avoid when picking out a book. Life is usually real enough for me. Plus, her books tend to be rather political in nature.which is a bit of a turn off for me as well. I don't even know what made me pick up The Russian Concubine, my introduction to Kate's work. I'm pretty sure it was an impulse buy at Half Price Books, but I am glad I gave her a chance. As I said, the books are political and they are usually about struggle, but the characters are so real and unbelievable strong, they suck you into their lives and do not let go. There is always an air of hope that is mixing and spinning in all the distress and injustice.

    The Red Scarf was, to me, ultimately about friendship and love. Sophia struggles with her decisions to do what is right for herself or, in a sense, laying down her life for her friend. It is about survival. Anna spends most of her time just focusing on surviving, and never giving up hope. Sophia, too, must survive and find a way to save her best friend. I don't know many people or friendships that are as tight as this friendship, but I love it because we should love each other in such a way that we would walk to the ends of the earth for them. Could you imagine the world we would live in if we did?

    I really enjoyed the way this book was set up. Usually I'm not big on bouncing forward and backward in time, but the flashbacks in this book were appropriately placed and absolutely necessary. The book would have been too long and too slow moving had it been told from the beginning to end in a straight line. This was my biggest surprise of all though, the fact that the book never seemed to really slow down. Even if there were moments of "down time" they were fast moving and still pertinent to the story. There was absolutely no extra fluff anywhere in the story that I could tell. The story and it's message are just beautiful, even in all of its harsh realities.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2009

    a truely amazing book!!

    This book was a story of how one womans spirit and courage can change the lives of many! This story shared russian history that is not always written about and it was interesting...scary but interesting!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    Mindtwister!

    The Red Scarf is an eye opening story of the Russian revolution and the horrors Lenin brought in his early years in order to fully control the country. While the storyline jumping makes the read more difficult, the weaving of the characters' stories by the end of the book makes the effort worthwhile.

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Another great book by KFurnivall

    This book is a great adventure to read. Historical fiction fans will enjoy the look into early 20th century Russia. The story is suspensful at times and definitely not predictable. Parts of the story may make you cringe, but at the same time lets you understand the characters and their struggle for survival. I highly recommend this book, as I do Furnivall's other novel, The Russian Concubine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2008

    Avid Reader

    this is a great book. You will have so many emotions reading this. It should be mandatory reading for high school. I had no idea that people suffered so much from the hands of Stalin. what these people had to endure was beyond imagination. These characters will stay with you for a long time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2008

    Loved this book

    I read the TRC first and then this one, both were GREAT !!! I think if I had to choose which one was the best I guess The Red Scarf was my favorite. I loved the twist near the end, I was surprised.I have told everyone how great both books were.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2008

    Some events difficult to perceive

    The setting is excellent, the hardships in grueling conditions is well portrayed, and the main characters, Anna and Sophia come alive. However, Sophia's ability to maneuver so many unbelievable situations make the events somewhat awkward . She seems to have superhuman talents and gets into difficult situations which do not seem plausible. She takes much too long to get back to Anna. It is difficult to believe that Anna could have survived the long time during Sophia's escapades. The loyalty of the main women is very real and their hardships in the camp are poignatly written. This is a period of history that needs to be better known to American readers and the author does a good job of presenting the difficult life under Communism.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A reviewer

    In 1933 Sofia Morozova struggles to survive her ordeal in Siberia¿s Davinsky labor camp. She lives because she has a long term goal of freedom and a short term objective to keep the spirit of frail half-broken Anna Fedorina going she knows Anna depends on her for her minuscule fading flicker of hope.--------------- When Anna becomes ill, Sofia desperately seeks help, which means leaving the camp. She escapes in hopes of finding Anna's childhood love Vasily a revolutionary allegedly living in Tivil. Sofia meets factory director Mikhail Pashin, whom she believes is Vasily in disguise. As she falls in love with Mikhail, she refuses to act on her feelings because if he is Vasily, as she believes, he belongs to Anna.----------------- This is a deep character driven tale starring two courageous women, a brave man, and the labor camp that is so vividly described it takes on a role of a horror figure. Sofia is wonderful as she survives the same way some people did the Nazi¿s concentration camps a decade later by making friends to care for, thinking of the happiness in her past in Petrograd and believing in a future life beyond the death prison. The romance takes a back seat though well written and enhancing the overall plot as Kate Furnivall concentrates on a powerful historical that focuses on the horrors of the Siberian death camps.------------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews

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