Extract from my novel

Chapter One

It was at the age of fifteen that I first fell in love. It was with a boy from the school. He often stood with his friends at the front entrance, with a cigarette, defying all rules and conventions. His name was Oleg, truly a beautiful boy.

But as the story of our times goes, the first love is rarely the one that is lucky, and nothing really happened with Oleg, even if in theory it could work, and I could be happy with Oleg forever after end.

The day after Oleg invited me on a date-and it was a spectacular invitation-he disappeared. Such things happen in Russia, quite often in fact. It was in 2008.  I was fifteen then, Oleg was seventeen, and his dad was a vice-mayor of the town of Tula. I realise now that I have forgotten to introduce myself properly, but I will come back to it in due term.

Oleg came to my class in maths. He entered the room in the middle of the lesson and put a note on my desk. I was sitting on my own, but this was a usual occurrence for me. I wanted to be small and invisible, and chances were in my favour. No one paid attention to me, and I was left alone. A girl from a foster family like me is not a happy child, and other children avoided me.

“Meet me tomorrow at the Kolonin’s café, at seven. It is a date. Oleg.’’

I stared in surprise at the text, because surely this wasn’t happening. The teacher was already pulling the note from my hands, shouting that this was highly inappropriate. The whole class was staring at me, so I just dropped my shoulders as if in total indifference, opening a math book to avoid stares from the classroom, while repeating to myself over and over: “Tomorrow at the Kolonin’s café, at seven.’’

The class soon resumed its pace. We were learning a new formula, and I pretended to tune in, while silently repeating to myself: “Tomorrow at the Kolonin’s café, at seven.’” Oleg was the first boy I ever fancied, and I think I grinned at some point, because the teacher was standing above me, asking me to repeat what she had just said. This teacher wasn’t a very kind woman. Who would disturb a pupil after seeing what had been written to him or to her? I saw her quickly glancing at the text in the note, and so she knew precisely what I was dealing with. I was invited for my first date!

Later at home, locked in my room, I opened a cupboard and stared at my two available dresses. One was old and black, and the other was old and blue. Neither of them was suitable for a date. My only good clothes were my school trousers and a blouse, and I decided then that I had to take some initiative and dare at more chances in life. So far, it was terribly unfair as far as I was concerned, but fortune was turning in my favour!

Please, read my book on Amazon (here is the link: Elena: A Love Story for Humankind)

My novel

Last year I sat down and wrote a book. It can be found in here.

In my book the main heroine is a 27 years renowned Russian pianist, that looks for her twin sister in a world affected by Covid. The book teaches us the power of human connections and that individual resilience is no longer enough. We all travel together in this life.

I wrote it in English, but the book’s heroine who tells the story, has a distinctive Russian voice. Elena tells us about the Russia of the oligarchs and how she was separated from her twin sister at the age of 8. The orphanage where she grew up lacked in kindness and compassion, and the heroine tells us how hard it is, when one’s personal trauma in life is delegated into a disorder to treat. Elena has a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Elena is lucky to get a doctor who tries a trauma-approach on her. Trauma-approach in psychiatry can help the patients to recover from their psychiatric journey. We are all prone to become mad, and everything depends on who ends up treating the manifestation of human malaise. Are there some kind doctors left, I wonder, who see beyond the society of medical capitalism, where each extreme feeling can be labeled into a psychiatric disorder to treat?

I am quite optimistic in my novel, and I hope it can bring some hope to all those who have had a psychiatric experience, got diagnosed, and are stigmatized because they dared to be different or suffered from a deep trauma, that can’t be treated only by some pills.

I hope you will read my novel!

Elena: A Love Story for Humankind

After catching a brief glimpse of a woman’s face on a friend’s Tinder page, world-famous pianist Elena Sokolova’s life is plunged into total chaos and collapse. The quickly vanishing image is the face of her missing twin sister Olga, separated from her in a Russian orphanage at the age of eight, and who Elena has been told may not even exist except as a symptom of her supposed schizophrenia.
Needing to find answers, Elena frantically runs through the streets of London knocking on random doors until she is finally picked up by police and brought to a NHS psychiatric hospital where she is placed in the care of the kindly Dr Arms, a practitioner of trauma-based therapy. Under his treatment, Elena gradually learns to process the painful events of her past life in the Russia of the oligarchs, while forming close friendships with fellow patients who are also embarked on journeys of healing from trauma.
Set in London and Sheffield amid the backdrop of the Covid crisis with its disruptions and enforced isolation, Elena: Love Story for the Humankind, is a love letter to British culture as well as a testament to the power of human connection to repair broken lives. Elena’s story teaches us that individual resilience is not enough; we all travel through this life together.

‘Elena: A Love Story for Humankind’ is a novella I wrote last year among the Covid pandemic and personal struggle with my bipolar disorder. The novella can be found on Amazon Kindle (here is the link).

Thank you!