Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 30

Life and Fate Read Along, Part 3 Chapter 30
Photo by Colin Watts / Unsplash

This post, covering Part 3, Chapter 30 is part of The Slavic Literature Pod’s chapter a day read along of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate. Learn more about our project here.

Still in Kazan, today we rejoin Alexandra Vladimirova, the matriarch of the Shaposhnikov family.

She gets letters from her two daughters and one granddaughter, Vera. Each of the letters make Alexandra feel unsettled in their own way. Ultimately she is left wondering how “it could very well have been the other way round. Why wasn’t she asking for her daughters’ help? Why was it her daughters who were asking her for help? After all, she was alone. She had no real home. She was an old woman. She had lost her son and daughter. She didn’t know anything about Seryozha,” (p. 722-3). The explosion of WWII and destruction of so many lives has clearly left many families struggling. With everyone living in different cities and grappling with their own losses, daughters are unable to help mothers and mothers are left unable to help daughters.