Gorgito’s Ice Rink was runner up in Writing Magazine’s 2015 Self-Published Book of the Year Awards.
“Two small boys grieving for lost sisters — torn between family and other loves. Can keeping a new promise make up for breaking an old one?
When Gorgito Tabatadze sees his sister run off with a soldier, he is bereft. When she disappears into Stalin’s Gulag system, he is devastated. He promises their mother on her death-bed he will find the missing girl and bring her home; but it is to prove an impossible quest.
Forty years later, Gorgito, now a successful businessman in post-Soviet Russia, watches another young boy lose his sister to a love stronger than family. When a talented Russian skater gets the chance to train in America, Gorgito promises her grief-stricken brother he will build an ice-rink in Nikolevsky, their home town, to bring her home again.
With the help of a British engineer, who has fled to Russia to escape her own heartache, and hindered by the local Mayor who has his own reasons for wanting the project to fail, can Gorgito overcome bureaucracy, corruption, economic melt-down and the harsh Russian climate in his quest to build the ice-rink and bring a lost sister home? And will he finally forgive himself for breaking the promise to his mother?
A story of love, loss and broken promises. Gorgito’s story, told through the eyes of the people whose lives he touched.”
What did I think?
The story of Gorgito’s Ice Rink centres on Gorgito, living in Nikolevsky, with focus too on those around him especially Emma, the British engineer who helps him manage his ideas and projects to bring them to fruition. Through them and a host of additional characters, the narrative moves seamlessly backwards and forwards in time bringing the wider story to life and dealing with loss and heartache honestly and realistically. Gorgito is a grown man, but still retains the emotions of the small boy who lost his sister in part through marriage and relocation, but as we discover, due to historical circumstance too. When he sees an opportunity to keep another young boy and his sister together he takes it, whatever the obstacles may be. Through the novel we better understand not just the challenges that he faces but the reason that they are there, and the deeper meaning between fractious adult relationships.
Historical events are deftly threaded through the story and add interest and depth to the novel. Through her words, Ducie brings Russia to her readers. The scenery is so vivid it is easy to envisage Gorgito’s factory in Nikolevsky, and we take a charming trip to Moscow at one point with Emma when we feel like a tourist in the city ourselves.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was elegantly written, engaging the audience through Gorgito’s triumphs and sadness. The characters moved me, I wanted to hear their stories, to understand their history and to hope for their future alongside them.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves travel or history. The words glow from the pages and will keep you engrossed in their tale.
Where can you buy a copy?
Author’s website: http://elizabethducieauthor.co.uk/book/gorgitos-ice-rink/
Kindle universal link: https://geni.us/3OHR
N.B. Until 14th October, Gorgito’s Ice Rink is only 99 p/c in all territories.
More about the author:
When Elizabeth Ducie had been working in the international pharmaceutical industry for nearly thirty years, she decided she’d like to take a break from technical writing—text books, articles and training modules—and write for fun instead. She started by writing travel pieces, but soon discovered she was happier, and more successful, writing fiction. In 2012, she gave up the day job, and started writing full-time. She has published four novels, three collections of short stories and a series of manuals on business skills for writers.
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N.B. Thank you very much to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the book tour, and of course to Elizabeth Ducie for gifting me a copy of her charming book for the purposes of this review. All thoughts are my own. For more information please see my disclosure page.