By Ayn Rand…1936
This was the author’s first foray into writing a novel. It almost never made it to the light of day as various editors summarily rejected it. This is not exactly a love story as romance does bloom, but the plot does take us into post-revolutionary Russia while the bourgeois are “put in their places.” In this story the Marxists under Lenin have commandeered the “new” state creating an immense Soviet-style prison and “big brother” has ears everywhere.
A middle-class family is thrown into disarray. Their lives are smashed while a harsh socialist system imposes “reforms” to equalize the populace and to share the wealth. The central characters are desperate to survive under the Bolshevik revolutionaries who arbitrarily devise methodologies that create scarcity; an uncertain future; lowered standards of living; and fear of the dreaded knock on the door by the secret police. In this semi-autobiographical novel it is a wonder that Rand was able to escape Red Russia to come to America when she did to begin her own career and foment ideologies that would bring her fame and fortune.