Official Review: A Cossack's House by Marie Washtag

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InStoree
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Official Review: A Cossack's House by Marie Washtag

Post by InStoree »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Cossack's House" by Marie Washtag.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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A Cossack's House is “a psychological drama thriller” from the Other Fiction genre. The amorphous architecture of the writing echoes a confusing tale. Marie Washtag, the author, is a Serbian writer who reflects in her work the interhuman connections between foreigners and locals in Russia, situated in the land of the Cossacks.

Diana, the main character, is a young Serbian woman in her 20s who spends a vacation in Russia, at the home of Giza, her widowed grandmother. Giza was married to a Cossack and her house was located in the Don Cossack’s region, near the Don River. This is where she meets Anatoly, a neighbour from across the street, with whom she begins a romance. She is forced to return to her native country when her visa expires, but they promise each other that they will find a way to be together.

She returns 10 years later, after her grandmother’s demise, to claim the house that she has been left to her as an inheritance. Thus, Diana found herself all alone among strangers, with no knowledge of the Russian language, and surrounded by people who conspire against her, all trying to get their hands on the most coveted house in that region. She was considered an outsider – this is the main reason why she encounters difficulties in legalizing the inherence documents.

But, what happened to Anatoly? To their love? Did he wait for her? Does Diana manage to make friends among the Russian people? Will she, a foreigner and a Cossack’s heiress, win the fight with Russian bureaucracy?

The book was translated from Serbian to English, but in an ad-litteram mode. With due respect, I suggest that the author accompany her work with professional editing. Without an elementary introduction or a brief portrayal of the characters, the reading experience became entangled and constantly baffling. I read the .doc version, which hampered the experience and kept it from being relaxed and cordial, due to the small font and the unnumbered pages (I couldn’t bookmark where to pick up reading whenever I stopped). Dividing the book into chapters might also help. The book's lack of structural organization gave me the impression of being the electronic diary of an aspirant lady who writes down her unfiltered thoughts.

The premise of the book is sui generis, and in spite of its potential, all the grammar and punctuation errors (on nearly every page), the misspelling, the lack of any coherent structure to the content, the constant feeling of not knowing who, when, or how, and the fog that filled my head left me flabbergasted, and I could only give the book 2 out of 4 stars. However, I’m thankful that this story has driven me into doing more thorough research of the Cossacks’ history and culture, and it has made me feel richer than I was yesterday.

I would recommend A Cossack's House to those readers who are willing to ignore the bumpy editorial style and enjoy a mixture of a love story, a look at the moral nature of people in realistic situations, and a coeval story of the Cossack region of Russia.

******
A Cossack's House
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Post by kandscreeley »

Well, it sounds like this one has promise, but it needs some work. I think I'll wait to look into this one further until a bit more work is done on it. I admire the author for trying to bring her work into the English language, though. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Prisallen »

It sounds like this could have been a very good book. It is too day the issues made it a little less appealing. Hopefully, the author will fix those problems. Thanks for a very good review!
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Post by InStoree »

kandscreeley wrote: 22 Apr 2019, 07:25 Well, it sounds like this one has promise, but it needs some work. I think I'll wait to look into this one further until a bit more work is done on it. I admire the author for trying to bring her work into the English language, though. Thanks for the review.
Yes, with some editorial improvement, this book would have a brighter colour. I do hope the author would consider a revision. The book has a unique storyline. Thank you for your comment, kandscreeley!
Love is the only power out there that trumps hatred, grief, sadness, or anger.
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Post by InStoree »

Prisallen wrote: 22 Apr 2019, 14:25 It sounds like this could have been a very good book. It is too day the issues made it a little less appealing. Hopefully, the author will fix those problems. Thanks for a very good review!
Thank you, Prisallen! I appreciate your thoughts. If we "blink" at the translation part, the novel is quite interesting.
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Post by unamilagra »

It sounds like this one had a great concept but maybe something was lost in translation, literally. I wonder how it would have read in the original Serbian in a physical book format. Hopefully she will get some editorial/translation help to improve the English version! Thanks for a great review!
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Post by Bianka Walter »

Merely translating into English shouldn't mean that an editor can be waived. I hope the author takes your thoughts into consideration.

This is a great review, thanks!
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Post by nooregano »

InStoree, I absolutely love how expressive your reviews are. They're always so sincere and the reader knows that you've given your all to them. Thanks for this review, yet again! This isn't my preferred genre, so I have more to say about your writing style than the content of the review! :D
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Post by InStoree »

unamilagra wrote: 23 Apr 2019, 10:28 It sounds like this one had a great concept but maybe something was lost in translation, literally. I wonder how it would have read in the original Serbian in a physical book format. Hopefully she will get some editorial/translation help to improve the English version! Thanks for a great review!
Reading between the lines, I did feel a passionate and engaging theme, so I think the original version it touches the reader's pneuma more. Indeed, there is something special in holding in your hands a physical book. Thank you for your comment, unamilagra!
Bianka Walter wrote: 23 Apr 2019, 13:36 Merely translating into English shouldn't mean that an editor can be waived. I hope the author takes your thoughts into consideration.

This is a great review, thanks!
Thank you for your kind words, Bianka! I deeply appreciate it.
nooregano wrote: 23 Apr 2019, 14:18 InStoree, I absolutely love how expressive your reviews are. They're always so sincere and the reader knows that you've given your all to them. Thanks for this review, yet again! This isn't my preferred genre, so I have more to say about your writing style than the content of the review! :D
Thanks, Noor! It means a lot for me.

:romance-grouphug:
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Post by Fazzier »

I like how strongly you voice opinion. You've made me have a general atmosphere of the book. Thank you for this great review!
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Fazzier wrote: 26 Apr 2019, 02:35 I like how strongly you voice opinion. You've made me have a general atmosphere of the book. Thank you for this great review!
Thank you for your lovely thoughts and for reading my review, Fazzier!
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Post by daviddawud »

Thank you for providing this excellent review. It's obvious the author needs to do more editorial work on the novel. I don't I will check it out.
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InStoree
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Post by InStoree »

daviddawud wrote: 27 Apr 2019, 12:45 Thank you for providing this excellent review. It's obvious the author needs to do more editorial work on the novel. I don't I will check it out.
Thank you, David! Yes, it does need some editorial improvements, but in essence, it's an unique perspective.
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Post by kdstrack »

Oh dear! I have read several books that were translated from other languages. My reaction has been similar to yours - the story is interesting, but the errors make your head swim! Thanks for your insightful review of this book.
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Post by InStoree »

kdstrack wrote: 29 Apr 2019, 14:31 Oh dear! I have read several books that were translated from other languages. My reaction has been similar to yours - the story is interesting, but the errors make your head swim! Thanks for your insightful review of this book.
Yes, is quite foggy. Thank you for stopping by, kdstrack!
Love is the only power out there that trumps hatred, grief, sadness, or anger.
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