Review Blog

Apr 12 2018

What the light reveals by Mick McCoy

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Transit Lounge Publishing, 2018. ISBN 9780995409873
Mick McCoy details the everyday lives of an Australian couple who, having refused to hide their dedication to communism in the middle years of the 20th century, conclude that the only way they can find work, given their unacceptable beliefs and commitment, is to move to the USSR. His narrative is realistic, true to its time and place, I believe, both in climate and in the descriptions of the everyday lives of the Russian people. That the majority of Russian people were better off under the rule of communism, even with its attendant hardships, than they had been previously, is a given in this narrative, at least for that period in history.
Mick McCoy has written his work to reflect both the aspect of strong political and personal beliefs, and that of the lived reality of the time, in his clear descriptions of the deeply challenging decision to move to live in a foreign country at such a time in history - and to a place with such a harsh winter climate. Yet we are aware of the sustaining force of the parents' strong beliefs in the rightness of their decision, and of their love for their two children. While both are challenged, their faith in the deep truths of communism and their love for their family, sustains them. The inevitable frustration of living in a place where all residents must live harmoniously in their little apartments, following the ideals of communism, where they, like all others, will be watched daily, spied upon for any slight mistake against the communal ways, or even a slight error in judgement, takes its toll. In this fine work, McCoy's 'light' does indeed reveal the reality of the time and place, and of the lives of people such as this family.
Elizabeth Bondar

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