Philipa C, Reviewer
This has to be one of the strangest books I have read for some time. The narrator Katrin (Katya) is the author - or for some time the reader can wonder- is this really her story? As a University student in Belarus Katrin meets two girls Olga and Tatjana who introduce her to a wilder side of life but one with sinister undercurrents - drinks, drugs, lapses of memory after clubbing and encounters with men. Then they suggest the previously shy girl should follow them to Germany to work as an au pair. Already alarm bells are bringing and this feels like a biography in which people trafficking and sexual abuse may be primary causes of her downfall. Yet on night in a club Katrin meets a man who has a strange ethereal fog around him which draws her to him and he seems to have strange but defensive powers that help to protect her. What follows is an extraordinary tale of Katrin's life with him as her boyfriend and incidents and people whose experiences could have dramatically changed their destiny - good vs evil. The text is highlighted with photographs but not straight away as it draws you into the strange world Katrin is experiencing. The boyfriend is never named although we learn a lot about him. Is he a guardian angel or a being from another world. The author is a young woman with a tale to tell and one I expect many will not believe. I'm not entirely convinced myself! However she also questions a lot about life generally and maybe our lack of human understanding of the wider world(s) beyond this often destructive planet earth can lead us as readers to wonder 'could this really have happened?' I remember reading James Herbert's classic 'The Fog' as a teenager and being terrified about the prospect of being lost in thick fogs and what might be hiding amongst its swirls and chilling clouds. Katrin's fog isn't quite as terrifying but it does seek to cloak our minds into some bigger issues beyond the usual run of the mill novels these days.