'O'Clery takes us into the hidden heart of Soviet Russia... An arresting and evocative story.' Keggie Carew, author of Dadland
'A tour de force ... Love, politics, murder, wars, and the fracturing of ties, personal and ethnic. O'Clery is a gifted writer.' Luke Harding, bestselling author of Collusion
The Soviet Union, 1962. Gifted shoemaker Stanislav Suvorov is imprisoned for five years. His crime? Selling his car for a profit. On his release, social shame drives him and his family into voluntary exile in Siberia, 5,000 kilometres from home. In a climate that's unfriendly both geographically and politically, it's their chance to start again.
The Shoemaker and His Daughter is an epic story spanning the Second World War to the fall of the Soviet Union, taking in eighty years of Soviet and Russian history, from Stalin to Putin. Following the footsteps of a remarkable family Conor O'Clery knows well - he is married to the shoemaker's daughter - it's both a compelling insight into life in a secretive world at a siesmic moment in time and a powerful tale of ordinary lives shaped by extraordinary times.
"Conor O'Clery is a legend among foreign correspondents. Over four decades - in Russia, the Middle East, Africa and Asia - he has established himself as a voice of wit, close observation, and sane good sense. His new book will be welcomed by everyone who cares about good writing, and about the human stories that enable us to understand the great movements of world history."
"Conor O'Clery's latest book is a tour de force - a sweeping account of the turbulent decades of the Soviet Union and the new Russia, told through the prism of a Russian-Armenian family. The story features love, politics, murder, wars, and the fracturing of ties, personal and ethnic, brought about by Stalin and his Kremlin successors. O'Clery is a gifted writer. His subject is one he knows well: his wife's father, mother and relatives, as they make their own sure-footed journey through a treacherous twentieth century."
"Highly readable, deeply informed telling of an ordinary, extraordinary story."
"Takes us into the hidden heart of Soviet Russia... an illuminating combination of history, politics, geography and humanity that's personal and close... An arresting and evocative story, brought alive through a host of characters, not least, the vast, hostile, secretive Russia herself."
"Transcends the confines of a mere family history... With his easy humour, engaging style and innate sympathy for the little guy, O'Clery shows how events and decisions in Moscow affected millions of Russians in myriad life-changing ways."