The Siege and The Betrayal by Helen Dunmore are historical fiction novels based in Leningrad during World War Two. The first novel introduces a family of three Anna Levin, her 5-year-old brother, and her father who is a writer. Andrei is a young doctor who becomes involved with the family. Anna, who is in her early twenties, works in a day care center up until the time when many children are sent out of the city for their safety during the siege. Stalin is in power and the Germans have blockaded Leningrad during the harsh winter. People are starving and countless die for lack of life’s basic necessities.
For anyone who has knowledge of Russian history, this is an interesting novel written from the perspective of a young adult woman, her family, and friends who live in fear and poverty due to the way in which Russia was governed during and for many years during and after World War Two. It is not a pretty picture and Dunmore has done an exceptional job of making it real for her readers. I recommend both books.