Book Review: Stalina by Emily Rubin

March 23, 2011

Article first published as Book Review: Stalina by Emily Rubin on Blogcritics.

“Stalina” by Emily Rubin (website | Facebook) is the fictional story of a Russian immigrant to the United States. The story takes place after the fall of the Soviet Union.

  • 220 pages
  • Publisher: AmazonEncore
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1935597175

Book Review: Stalina by Emily Rubin
My rating for Stalina – 3
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More Books by Emily Rubin*


“Stalina” by Emily Rubin is a well written novel, but I had varied thoughts about it. While the story was certainly interesting the book had very little in the way of plot and no ending.
The characters were certainly well developed. Stalina is very engaging, her circle of friends was interesting and her circle of acquaintances was also intriguing. Ms. Rubin certainly knows how to build a scene and explore relationships. The father/daughter relationship which Stalina relishes thought the novel is heartwarming and sad. Stalina’s father, a poet, was taken by the Russian government never to be seen again.

As someone who had to learn English as a second language, the notion that Stalina spoke fluent, or even passable English because her father read to her in that language was a bit of a stretch. There are plenty of people who hear English everyday (via songs, radio, TV, movies, etc.) yet cannot converse. I can watch Telemundo all day long yet still not be able to hold my own in Spanish. Learning a language takes dedication, time and practice.

As appealing as the character of Stalina was and as interesting as her point of view is I still felt as if the book was a collection of short stories all revolving around a central character.
Certainly not a bad thing.


Stalina Folskaya flees St. Petersburg search for a better life in the United States. Stalina leaves behind her elderly, alzhimeric, mother and her past. As a trained chemist, Stalina is quickly disillusioned about her bright future prospects and becomes a maid at a short-stay motel.

Stalina convinces her boss to let her design some of the fantasy rooms and business skyrockets.

Buy Stalina from*
More Books by Emily Rubin*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

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  • Leslie @ Tic TocMarch 23, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Good Morning,
    Thank you for sharing this review. You have some great insight and I agree about the language. The premise of the story seems solid but I can see from your review where the issues lie.

    Thanks again

    • zoharMarch 23, 2011 at 8:30 am

      Thanks for your comment Leslie.
      I’d like to read more of Rubin’s work when it comes out, this books shows much promise.

  • AthsMarch 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    What a pity about the lack of a plot/ending. I thought the title was really cool. That and the cover.

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