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Lights All Night Long, by Lydia Fitzpatrick

There is a particular sadness to Russia, a sort of mournful persistence that pervades its landscapes and people, whose ruling class has failed them over and over again though they still remain proud of their history and heritage. When teenage English prodigy Ilya travels to America for a year-long academic exchange, he brings the past with him, both his country's and his family's.

Ilya has long looked up to his older brother Vladimir, despite Vlad's obvious shortcomings. Where Ilya is studious and determined, Vlad is impulsive and disruptive. Though ultimately loyal to Ilya and pleased with his admiration, Vlad's treatment of his brother is always tinged with cruelty. The years go by and Ilya's academic success grows while Vlad drops out of school and deep into the abyss of drug addiction.

We follow Ilya and Vlad's adolescence in alternating flashback chapters. The other chapters describe Ilya's wonder and discomfort as he lives with the Masons in suburban …

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