Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow by Jennifer Eremeeva is a wickedly witty look at what it’s like to live in post-Cold War Russia. Told from the perspective of an American-born woman who fell in love with a vision of Russia inspired when she first read Nicholas and Alexandra, Lenin Lives Next Door is a humorous though true-life account that will grab your attention and hold it from the very beginning of the book to the end.
Jennifer Eremeeva navigated the difficult waters of learning the Russian language while she was attending college, and she put her knowledge of Russia to use when she became a tour guide there, and eventually met the Russian-born love of her life and husband, who she refers to as “my HRH,” or Handsome Russian Husband.
Being a fan of everything Russian — at least, pre-1917 Russian — and a tour guide, the author put her expertise to good use when she became a tour guide. She describes in Lenin Lives Next Door what is was like being a tour guide and taking her English-speaking customers to see the sights, and to the Moscow theater, restaurants there, and also her experiences at attending Russian parties. It was at one such party that she met her husband.
Also, Jennifer Eremeeva writes about the Russian approach to culture, business, and relationships. She relates the immense importance of having blat, or connections:
It connotes the valuable currency of influence in a country where the coin of the realm is about as useful as the stuff in the Monopoly box. Someone who is “blatnoi” or “blatnaya” (the feminine version) is blessed with these essential ties to decision makers who help them get through the day and inch up the greasy pole of Soviet life.
What should you bring if you must spend the weekend at a Russian dacha (cottage)? When in Russia, should you ever trust a woman named tatiana or Olga? Why is it that the Russians love mayonnaise so much? Jennifer Eremeeva answers these questions and many more in Lenin Lives Next Door.
The author knew that many books portrayed the grittier, grimier side of Russia, so she set out to paint a more light-hearted picture of the country she fell in love with. The average Russian, she had discovered, had a keen sense of self-deprecating humor, and Jennifer Eremeeva wanted to write about the lighter side of what it’s like living in Russia.
Each chapter has a theme to it, with titles ranging from “Finding Comrade Light,” and “Along with the Red Queen, the White Queen, and Me,” to “Dachaphobia,” and “Tsarina of the Road.”
Reading Lenin Lives Next Door, you’ll become transported and entranced with the vivid anecdotes and story of what it’s like to be an expatriate living in Russia that Eremeeva relates. You’ll be entertained by her adroit and witty observations, and you’ll also learn some interesting and little-known facts about the culture, cuisine, habits, customs, and history of Russia.
Jennifer Eremeeva has lived for two decades in Russia, and she’s worked since 2006 full-time as an independent writer and blogger.She writes the Russian humor blog “Russia Lite: The Funnier Side of Life in the World’s Largest Country” and a food blog, “The Moscovore: Culinary Adventures in the Russian Capital.”
Lenin Lives Next Door: Marriage, Martinis, and Mayhem in Moscow is a humorous look into life in Moscow that will appeal to anyone who likes to learn about different countries and cultures, and also to anyone who loves to read light-hearted, well written, intelligent books. You can purchase a copy at the link below!
Written by: Douglas Cobb