Prague Spring: A Novel
Set in the brief months of the revolutionary Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia 1968, Simon Mawer’s historical spy fiction work of the same name tells the intertwined stories of students James and Eleanor, and the British bureaucrat Sam and a young Czech student named Lenka. Alternating between the stories of the two pairs, Mawer’s novel depicts the optimism and possibility that seemed unlimited in the spring and summer of 1968 as the central characters are drawn into the political machinations and closer to each other, that is, until the Soviet Union forcibly occupies Prague in August of that year and the dream of liberated, harmonious Czech socialism is ruined.
Mawer writes in a distinctively descriptive voice, and while I found this annoying early in the novel when he introduced the characters, it works well to describe the particular historical and cultural moment of Prague in 1968, creating a vivid picture for readers of an unfamiliar time and place. The novel does take some time for the action to pick up, but by its end Mawer has convincingly written his characters into the world of the novel and has woven a complex and intriguing web of historical intrigue.
|Page Count||416 pages|
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