The family was the Brezhnevs, and the author is Luba B., niece of the man who led the Soviet Union for 18 years - - but who, in the end, could not protect her.
These are the touching and terrifying revelations of a child of both privilege and persecution. The story is of her transformation from a provincial schoolgirl into an outspoken young woman who moved among, and then rebelled against, the elite of Moscow.
Most Soviet era stories are told by novelists, scientists, spies, ex-KGB men or by victims of awful exile or imprisonment. This account is different, written by a girl from a typical childhood, richly traditional but somewhat threadbare, who was whisked into the high life of her country's capital, to a shocking view of and at times shocking treatment by the ruling class of society. She knew of the plot to overthrow Khruschev. She saw increasingly the corruption of those the system favored. Like many teenagers, she was outspoken - and later made the grave mistake of falling in love.
She tells these and other stories - painful, provocative, poetic, at times amusing, to produce what the authority Robert Conquest calls "a book both informative and moving; rich in detail and at the same time a great general view."