“The stranger is here. I can feel it. She’s close.
The words vibrated in the dark room and stirred the night air inside the small izba at the far end of Tivil, where two dark-haired figures leaned close across a table within an uncertain circle of light. A measured sprinkle of aromatic powder sent a spiral of flashes swirling out from the single candle flame that burned before them. Together they inhaled its delicate fragrance.
‘I’ve drawn her close,’ Rafik murmured. ‘So close I can hear her heartbeat in Tivil.’
His hand hovered over a black cloth on which lay a heavy crystal sphere. It gleamed, shimmered, and seemed to pulse in the darkness as the gypsy’s hand circled above it, slow and attentive, listening to its voice.
‘What do you hear?’ whispered the olive-skinned girl.
‘I hear her heart tearing. I hear her blood spilling, drop by drop, and yet…I hear her laughing.’ The sound was sweet as birdsong in his ears.” (The Red Scarf, Kate Furnivall, pp. 52)
Isn’t this beautiful?! It’s out of a novel I’m reading that takes place in 1933 about a young woman who escapes a Siberian labor camp to try to help another prisoner escape later.
Labor camps are prisons where many innocent people were locked up unjustly and for stupid reasons like just disagreeing with authority.
They are tortured and not taken care of. They are worked sometimes literally to death. They are killed if they make mistakes or do not submit to authority. Many died before their sentence was up. This story isn’t real but labor camps were.
In prison, this young woman, Sofia, meets another young woman, Anna, and they become very close friends. Anna saves Sofia’s life when Sofia gets cut and it becomes infected. She cares for her day and night until it heals. The guards and others do not take care of the prisoners and couldn’t care less if they die, are sick or in pain.
Anna tells Sofia often, about the boy she loves and hasn’t seen in years. Sofia takes great pleasure in the beautiful stories Anna tells. It’s what sees her through the pain of being locked away in a labor camp day after day, year after year.
Anna becomes deathly ill and Sofia wants to get her out of there and get her proper care but Anna is too sick to escape so Sofia risks her life escaping so she can go find Anna’s lover and bring him back to her so Anna can escape.
I haven’t read much of the book yet but on the back it says Sofia finds Anna’s love, the boy she still loves after all these years, and Sofia falls in love with him! Uhh ohh!
But it’s more than just a love story involving romantic & platonic love. It’s a mystery and full of danger and adventure. It has a lot of substance and the characters have depth unlike a lot of characters in romantic love stories, who seem one-dimensional.
I love how it’s a love story that involves both friendship love & romantic love. I love novels about friendship.
This book has over 400 pages. I’m on page 73.
So I don’t know what happens later in the story but it seems Sofia finds herself in a position where she can potentially make a choice to betray her friend or remain loyal but deny herself the love she has for her friend’s man. I hope she will choose loyalty to her friend.
I want to share the scene above because it’s beautiful and mysterious and I believe it’s a positive message how we can find joy & laughter even in the midst of sorrow, anxiety, and uncertainty.
The man and young girl above are father & daughter, Rafik and Zenia, and the teenage girl, Zenia, finds the young woman, Sofia, stealing vegetables out of their garden before Sofia suffers a head injury and falls unconscious. The father and daughter take Sofia in, knowing she’s a fugitive and it can put their own lives in danger. But they are good people who want to help her. The man and his daughter have some psychic abilities. They don’t know everything though and the daughter’s are not as strong as her father’s.
It’s a lovely book if the part I read up until now is any indication.
So, I hope you are having a great day or night and lots of love to you! ❤