Bewitchingly mysterious . . . Makine's reputation rises with every book, and some have claimed that he deserves the Nobel Prize; on the strength of this teasing, emotionally dense novel, it's easy to see why
Beautiful . . . Makine gives us a work about love and its doppelganger, infatuation, which is by turns touching and profoundly sad
Luminous, enthralling . . . The enormity of the Second World War, with more than 20 million Russian dead, is allied with one, inconsolable human tragedy. This is where Makine dazzles. He can make the universal deeply intimate.