Set in small-town America (199~) the novel's main characters, six Russian newcomers, provide a fresh perspective on a close-knit college community.
From the novel: The_Russians_Are_Coming!
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Many Russians live in big American cities.
They have their communities; they even have their newspapers and TV stations. But six people, who arrived at one time, were the first Russians to ever come to this place.
Despite the fact that the Soviet Union had collapsed a few years ago, in this small town, which proudly called itself "a city," a siren was still sounding every Saturday morning at ten o'clock, reminding the residents of the Cold War.
This is why the townspeople were curious, and the town hall was full, when the mayor welcomed the new citizens.
There was a couple without kids: a tall, athletic, broad-shouldered man about forty years old and a woman, who looked to be substantially younger than her husband. Her plain pale face with small, refined features reminded one of a marble mask, and a long, thick chestnut braid adorned her head.
"Vera Grach and Gleb Merkulov," the mayor introduced the couple, and they waved their hands.
Next was a young family: a slim blonde man, his wife, a stout short woman with doe eyes and curly black hair, and a five-year-old girl.
"Vlad Lapin…" The mayor faltered for a second, seeing the last names of the females written a little bit differently from Vlad's, with the additional "a" at the end. The mayor thought his secretary had made a mistake. He did not know that it is typical for Russian family names. "Please, greet Nina and Larisa Lapina."
"Larisa, say 'Hello!'" The woman gently pushed her daughter forward, but the shy girl with pigtails and big pretty bows stayed close to her parents, even when the mayor gave her a teddy bear as a welcoming gift from the people of the town.
Last in the queue of people introduced was a slender single girl in her mid twenties. Like a cloud, fluffy blonde hair framed her sad face. Her name was Marina Aleksandrova, and she took up a guitar and all the Russians sang the traditional "Kalinka," the song that is played at every hockey game.
That was how the Russians came here.