“Jordan’s book shines when offering intriguing facets of the cultures and characters that Alexander encounters. Lively details include Russian traditions such as an Eastern Orthodox Easter and the inherently odd juxtaposition of a boy with Russian roots growing up in California … this multicultural tale creates a complex web of relationships … the narrative should leave readers curious about the fates of the people Alexander meets on his serpentine journey.” –– Kirkus Reviews
“There is, for me, a first test of any novel. Do I want to turn to the next page and keep reading it? After reading the first 83 pages of Tatiana and the Russian Wolves, I can say 'Stephen Evans Jordan knows how to write and how to tell a story.'” –– Jim Lehrer, journalist, author, and former news anchor of PBS NewsHour
“It is amazing to read Jordan’s story. He has a way of describing complex relationships that blows your mind and imagination. It is fantastic that Alexander gets a second chance on love which he deserves.” –– Jacqueline Ang, NetGalley Reviews (RATING: 5 out of 5 stars)
“To me this was nice and so interesting trip to Russia with this book … quite emotional trip to Russia. I have half of my family from Russia. Positive thing was that there was some Russian comment/proverb which makes this book more like Russian than if the only language is English … there is something magical and mystical. To me it is like to coming home after long trip. I hope that someday we see this translated also in Finnish. Many thanks for this amazing book. Cпасибо.” –– Sari Koskinen, NetGalley Reviews (RATING: 5 out of 5 stars)
This debut novel by a delightful short story writer is set against a striking backdrop: "In my young mind's eye, Russia became a supernatural force in a woman's form--with a troubled past and the darkest of secrets."
Tatiana, the protagonist Alexander's late mother, was a Russian emigre who died a suicide with several troubling secrets. Even as he pursues a glamorous international banking career, he cannot avoid encounters with her past which begin to turn his life into a dizzying spiral of questions.
The scene is largely the San Francisco of the 1980s, with many touches of that still Cold War era. Highly recommended! –– Elias C. (4 stars on Goodreads)
Excellent read, hard to put down, San Francisco setting was outstanding, strongly recommend.
Well Done to author Stephen Evans Jordan. — Don S. (5 stars on Goodreads)
Tatiana and the Russian Wolves is a wonderful and swift read. As a reader, once you begin, just continue and before you know it, you are 30 pages in!
Our adventurous lead, well-traveled and intelligent is a delight to follow and to understand why he’s interested in finding out more…
Much to the influence of his mother, he is self-guided and curious and determined to discover more.
The author, Stephen Evans Jordan, unwinds his story with a nice sense of adventurous curiosity, with a driven need for answers and understanding.
It is refreshing to read a book that feels so real and today. It is thoughtful to know that an author appreciated his mother to the point of making her the catalyst for his journey. In fact isn’t that the truth of life, whereby our lives are shaped, guided and influenced by the adults within our lives and our environment. — FINALLY! Magazine Staff
"As a third-generation San Franciscan, this book was a delightful trip down Memory Lane when it came to the author's accurate and vivid descriptions of The City, and the times the protagonist lived in. Some of Mr. Jordan's characters also enhanced the trials and tribulations of that era (for example, AIDS devastating the gay community), along with Tatiana's past, which was inextricably woven into the present San Francisco. To be honest, the Fiona character annoyed me terribly - but I also realize she was integral to the story, so I tolerated her. At the same time, who knew that being an "investment banker" would end up NOT being a boring topic that should be dismissed summarily? Bonus?? In this day and age, the "Russian connection" is very, very timely. Many thanks to Mr. Jordan for a well-written, captivating book!!!" — Jo Anne Q.
Wow! What a glorious story. I can think of few books of fiction I have enjoyed reading as much. Hard to put down once I started with it, as it is so compelling. The prologue seems strongly to suggest that it is really a work of historical fiction. My connections with Russia --- twice there to work on freedom of the press issues; and, my father and the crew of the USSS destroyer Whipple rescued Peter Wrangel and his family (his son was the model for Hathaway shirts) made it personal.
Just before starting it, I had finished reading Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited," supposedly one of the best books of the 20th century. I know that comparisons can tend to be invidious; but, with due respect to EW, it's not even in the same league as Steve's new book. Given a choice of the two, I'd reread Steve's book in a minute. — James H.
And here are some reviews from Amazon:
This offering is really well written and I could not put it down. The plot was alluring and the characters were flawed but likable and there were strong hints of realism and at times felt like a drama. What makes this book wonderful is the author's style and command of the language. So much emotional tension and keen description with an economy of words. It is magical.
Philip O'Rourke - Gave a ★★★★★ review
“Alexander Romanovsky embodies all the tensions in 1980s America--venal and self-serving business people, high-society aesthetes, goodhearted and faithful friends, greedy and jealous relatives, complex love interests along every phase of the spectrum, international intrigue, the fallout from past wars. As Alexander careens through the unexpected twists in his life's trajectory, he uncovers for himself (and for his readers) the layers of his psyche, past and present, ultimately finding what he was looking for by acknowledging what was in front of him all along. Like a David Copperfield or a Pip, this complicated hero narrates in diary-like fashion his process of self-discovery over the course of four and a half tumultuous years. In the process he draws us along through vivid descriptions of his native San Francisco and its people, their houses and offices, their fashion, their food, their foibles.”
Tom M. - Gave a ★★★★ review
“Overall, I really enjoyed the book and once I got started after trying to remember which character was which with their complicated Russian names, I could hardly stop reading it. This story would make a wonderful movie!
My one criticism is that much of the dialog contained esoteric vocabulary that prevented the conversation from sounding natural, at least to my ears. Too many trips to the dictionary!
All in all, definitely worth a read!”
Anonymous Amazon Kindle Review - Gave a ★★★★ review
“A good read! I was captivated by the prologue and it kept my interest to the end. It's an interesting story with intriguing characters.
It's an impressive first novel. I look forward to more.”
Anonymous Amazon Kindle Review - Gave a ★★★★★ review
“Tatiana was a delightful surprise. It was recommended to me by a friend who thought (correctly) I would appreciate the primary location of the story. While some might label the story “Russian Historical Romance,” I would categorize it as more of a novel of “Modern-Historical Russian Intrigue.” I found there was sufficient Russian historical coverage to lay the foundation for the main plot and subplots. The travails of our protagonist to try and overcome the psychological bonds with his past, however, take place in modern times. While I could frequently feel the pain and anguish of his mental machinations, I was also quickly propelled forward by the tightness of the story and the continual, surprising, twists of intrigue, backstabbing and subterfuge that kept the story moving at a rapid pace.
The story takes place primarily in San Francisco. In addition to the author’s pronounced ability to weave believable pictures of his characters, he is also adept at describing locales with impressive detail. As a long-time resident of San Francisco and the Bay Area, I was easily drawn to the areas where we found our characters sorting out their lives. The author’s description of European and Russian locales is equally impressive. Readers are as easily transported between East and West as they are between past and present.
There is enough character development in Tatiana to provide an opportunity for in depth character analysis. There are deep psychological issues with the protagonist and those that surround him. Tatiana would be a great choice for a book club. At the same time, however, it is not necessary to go into a psychological deep dive in order to thoroughly enjoy the story.
Tatiana is a fast-paced page-turner that makes it a perfect “airplane” book or “weekend read.” The author, Stephen Evans Jordan, is an entertaining writer and has also written a number of short stories that along with Tatiana this reader highly recommends.”
Bernie R. - Gave a ★★★★★ review
“I'm pleased to add my strong recommendation of this very enjoyable book. Stephen Evans Jordan has given a great deal of care in his elegant prose as well as his carefully constructed plot with an evolution of the key characters that is quite intriguing and very believable. He is a wordsmith and the beauty of his description of people, places, and even the every changing San Francisco weather was very impressive and added much to the overall experience of reading this book. I hope it receives the attention it deserves and will be an incentive to the author to gift us with another great story, well told.”
Patrick C. - Gave a ★★★★★ review
“Mr. Jordan has written a fine novel. Many reviews have seen it as a straight forward narrative fiction. In a sense it is a very well written pot boiler that hooks the reader and with fine writing tells an interesting coming of age saga. The protagonist, however, should have come of age a couple of decades sooner than he did. He has to go through the perils of Paulene to get there but he does. I think the writer is channeling Thackery and resetting "Vanity Fair" in San Francisco during the time AIDS. It has been eons since I have enjoyed the company of such a bunch of self-interested, self-indulgent twits. He even has a character, the only real person in the mix, who can rival Becky Sharp. I eagerly await further fiction from this writer.”
Lawrence G. - Gave a ★★★★★ review
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