How Dare The Birds Sing is a dramatic love story set in WWII that tests the limits of the heart. What served as your inspiration while writing this story?
My belief is—and there are thousands of examples depicted in history—no unbearable life circumstances can prevent human hearts from loving another human being. Just to add one more tale about it served as inspiration to write Lyuba’s story.
Lyuba is an intriguing character that goes through a dramatic change. What were some driving ideals behind her character arc?
There were millions of Soviet girls and women who lived in the same circumstances as my main heroine, Lyuba Zalesskaya. Despite the life of constant fear under Stalin’s oppressive regime once Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union, the majority of the population stood up to defend their motherland against the aggressor. So did Lyuba. With her as the example, I wanted to show a few slices of that struggle, especially for readers not closely acquainted with Russian history.
This is a fantastic historical romance novel. What draws you to this genre?
The motivation comes from the realization that although there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of novels devoted to WWII, there are really not too many books that discuss the aspects of war on the Eastern Front and especially the ordeal of the Soviet people in the Wehrmacht occupied territories (at some periods about 70 million people). As with all my books, this one is my way of adding rarely covered details that illuminate an intimate part of the Russian war seldom seen in fiction available to Western readers.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
I just started working on another book in which the events evolve against the backdrop of WWII, but since it’s in the phase of research and has even no working title yet, I think it would be premature to talk about it. However, I just recently finished Too Many Wolves in the Local Woods, which goes into publication on May 5, 2020 as a part of a 10-book collection The Road to Liberation dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.
Are Lyuba and Günter star-crossed lovers? When they first meet in 1933 Soviet Russia, their young love is filled with hope and naiveté until Günter disappears. Her fleeting relationship with him has devastating consequences, forcing her to take a humiliating way out to save herself and her family. This choice unleashes a sequence of fatal events that shatter her life, affecting everyone involved.
In June 1941, World War II comes to Russian soil, hurling Lyuba, along with millions of others, into the inhuman grinder, testing the limits of her strength and resilience of her heart. Will it be strong enough years later to allow her to reveal the ugly secret she has buried from the only person the war has left for her to love?
How Dare the Birds Sing by Marina Osipova is a story about Lyuba, a young Russian woman believing she is better off without love until she meets Gunter, a German pilot. Are they meant to be together? The Soviet Union is not an easy place to live in 1933. When Gunter disappears, Lyuba decides to take a huge risk for herself and her family. The events that transpire force the family’s lives to be thrown into the hands of the Nazis. How will Lyuba’s life change in this new world?
How Dare the Birds Sing is a well-written story starting off as two girls talking about love until it transforms into a compelling page-turner about making the right decisions. You never know what is going to happen or what will become of the characters asking yourself question after question. I was blown away by Marina Osipova’s accurate depiction of how Hitler’s rule affected people.
Lyuba goes through a transformational arc, starting off the story as a care-free young woman wanting to make her life into what she wants. She is a complex character and yet you can’t help but feel sorry for her. She just wants what every young woman wants. To grow up and live her dream. This was another story where I was telling the character what to do when she goes ahead and does the unthinkable.
Osipova’s story made me think. It makes me feel lucky that I was not living at this time, having to live under many laws. This story is all about making tough decisions. Were the decisions that Lyuba made the right decisions or were they selfish to those who didn’t have a say in the decision-making process.
I like the title of this story. In contrast to Maya Angelou’s poem titled Why Does the Caged Bird Sing? it’s sad because Lyuba no longer has her freedom as she watches the birds fly free. This story explores how cruel the world can be and how it affects your own perspective when looking at the world.
How Dare the Birds Sing is an emotional piece of historical fiction and I would recommend it. History is important and cannot be erased. It is important to learn how people’s lives were affected during WW2.
Pages: 317 | ASIN: B07N2BDF91
The Cruel Romance is a historical romance novel following the lives of Serafima and Vitya during WWII. What prompted you to write this emotional novel?
There are many books written about great battles and great generals. Much less about the dreadful effects of war and occupation on the lives of civilians. The stories of European women in their fight against the German invaders have become broadly familiar. The idea that ordinary Russian women who had to endure four years of Nazi invasion deserve the same prompted me to write The Cruel Romance.
Telling stories of unsung heroines is my humble tribute to the women who worked on the home front producing armaments, like Serafima from The Cruel Romance, or who were fighters on the front or partisans, like my heroine Lyuba from How Dare the Birds Sing, another book of mine.
Serafima and Vitya are intriguing and well-developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind their character development?
It was important for me to show not only good personality traits but also evil ones in my characters. So, Serafima, despite the horrible circumstances, developed into a kind and passionate person becoming stronger with every unfortunate turn in her life. But not like Victor, who developed—or maybe the dark parts of his character were hidden only to be revealed in critical situations—into a cruel person consumed with hate, ruining the lives of the innocent people because of some deeply personal feelings and, besides, using his position in the society to get a desired post.
I felt that the history and Russian culture and backdrop were well utilized. What kind of research did you undertake for this book?
Aside the fact that I’m Russian and the setting within which my characters acted is natural to me, every new work requires extensive research. The authenticity comes from many details. In my case, it came not only from books. I am greatly indebted to my parents who as children endured the German bombing, the hunger and fear and who shared their experience with me.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book, the second one in the Love and Fate series titled Too Many Wolves In The Local Woods goes live on May 5, 2020 as a part of the Road to Liberation boxset comprising ten books from USA Today, international bestselling and award-winning authors dedicated to celebrating the end of WWII.
On October 1941, in a small village outside Moscow, Serafima bids farewell to Vitya, a Soviet officer going to the front. With only moments left together, she places a cross around her beloveds neck and reluctantly releases him into a cruel world where nothing is certain, especially whether she will ever see him again.
Days later, Germans invade her village and take over her tiny house. Serafima and her mother must comply with orders, endure abuse, and stay put, or their village will be annihilated.
As World War II intertwines Serafimas and Vityas life with that of a young German violinist and a Russian intellectual, their destinies are irrevocably altered. Can they rise to the challenge of agonizing moral choices and learn to forgive and love again?
During World War II a young Serafima Krivenkova’s life changes forever after her lover, Vitya leaves the village to go to the front. Soon after Vitya leaves, Serafima’s home is taken over by Germans, and she and her mother are forced to follow the orders of the German officers who live there. Despite the hardships, Serafima tries to stay positive and often thinks about her future life together with Vitya after his return from the war. But something terrible happens that will make Serafima the target of hurtful gossips in the village and destroys her dreams.
The Cruel Romance by Marina Osipova is a sensational historical fiction novel about war, love, distress, cruelty, faith, and tragedy. The story takes place mostly in Russia, 80 miles from Moscow in the 1940’s and 1950’s and describes the life of Serafima, who continuously has to adapt to the difficulties and cruel circumstances caused by the war. Although the story is fictional, I got a deep insight into the cruelty of World War II and how it affected the lives of Russian citizens. Osipova has in depth knowledge of the topic and the Russian-German conflict during that time in history. The author uses different narratives to show the events, which helps to reveal new information about what has happened.
The story was consistently interesting but also depressing at the same time. At first, I thought that this would be a typical love story that, despite the difficulties, finishes with a happy ending. But it’s an unconventional story with many unexpected turns. In the beginning, the story builds slowly, but later events come fast and the years go by quickly. I would have preferred the time jumps not to have been so large, but this is mostly due to the fact that I wanted to stay with the interesting characters longer.
The characters are well-chosen and I liked that they have unique personalities. Osipova focuses on the description of what happened with the characters and what feelings they have rather than giving a detailed portrayal of them.
Overall, the novel is a great read. I would suggest this book to everyone who likes historical love stories.
Pages: 342 | ASIN: B0794VPFRW