A powerful, timely novel that moves seamlessly between the euphoria of revolution and intimate dramas of love and loyalty.
Once a senior diplomat in Kiev, Simon Davey lost everything after a lurid scandal. Back in London, still struggling with the aftermath of his disgrace, he is traveling on the Tube when he sees her. . . .
This woman, Olesya, is the person Simon holds responsible for his downfall. He first met her on an icy night during the protests on Independence Square. Full of hope and idealism, Olesya could not know what a crucial role she would play in the dangerous times ahead—and in Simon’s fate. Or what compromises she would have to make to protect her family.
When Simon decides to follow Olesya, he finds himself plunged back into the dramatic days which changed his life forever. And he begins to see that her past has not been what he thought it was, and neither has his own.
Independence Square is a story of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times. It is a story about corruption and betrayals, and a story about where, in the twenty-first century, power really lies.
A. D. Miller is the author of Snowdrops, The Earl of Petticoat Lane, and The Faithful Couple. Snowdrops was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the CWA Gold Dagger, and was translated into twenty-five languages. As the Moscow Correspondent of the Economist, Miller has traveled widely across the former Soviet Union and covered the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. He is now the Culture Editor at The Economist.
“A captivating study of corruption, betrayal and the abuse of power. This time, however, the novel follows a protagonist who has already fallen from grace and is on a personal mission to find out where he went wrong. Like all good political thrillers, “Independence Square” is intricately structured and thick with intrigue and suspense. The narrative unfolds elliptically, alternating between Kiev in the past and London in the present, and flitting between perspectives. Only at the end, after piecing together each segment of the story, does the reader get the full devastating picture. It is hard to fault what is a vivid and highly charged tale of misplaced trust and tarnished dreams.”
– The Economist
“Miller conveys a rich understanding of the calculus of protest. Beneath the simplistic summaries on the mainstream news, Miller spins the chaotic exuberance of the scene. The novel’s greater tragedy extends out to the world Davey once thought he could guide toward nobility and fairness."
– Ron Charles, The Washington Post
Readers with a keen interest in political fiction will find much to savor in the complex machinations Miller expertly creates.
“A vivid portrayal of political intrigue.”
– Publishers Weekly
“AD Miller has woven an intriguing, evocative tale of betrayal, revolution and heartbreak. In subtle, sinuous prose, he shows us a man haunted by a fateful mistake - and shows us how even the most noble political moments turn on dark secrets and human frailties. After his magnificent debut, Snowdrops, expectations were high for AD Miller: with Independence Square he delivers handsomely.”
– Jonathan Freedland
"At its best, Independence Square made me think of a 21st-century Graham Greene novel, an absorbing thriller informed by emotional intelligence and a deep understanding of geopolitics."
– Marcel Theroux, The Guardian (UK)
"Utterly gripping, a novel with its finger on the pulse of geopolitics that still manages to move deeply."
– Observer, *Books to Look Our For in 2020*
Miller’s gripping novel, about truth, lies and power is a searing indictment of our times. A book about dirty money and the manipulation of politics, about a world where anything is possible and where even a war can be ‘hallucinated into reality’. And it is about power. . . . This, then, is a story not about a revolution in Eastern Europe but about the way we live now.
– The Spectator
"The novel’s motor is the reader’s hunger to find out how Davey’s life, once so gilded, could crash so badly. [A] fine new novel…[Miller’s] story lingers long after the last page.
– Financial Times
"A.D. Miller recreates the heady days of the Orange Revolution in evocative detail. As Davey gradually unpicks his past, unexpected shifts in perspective add depth and tension."
– The Times (UK)
"I loved this beautiful novel. It's a supremely timely story of deeply-rooted corruption, but also of idealism and longing for freedom. Very powerful and profoundly moving."
– Elif Shafak, bestselling author of 'The Bastard of Istanbul' and 'The Forty Rules of Love'
"A tremendous novel — taut, compelling, reeking of authenticity. A.D. Miller writes with exemplary precision and sophistication. Independence Square is an unsparing examination of human beings caught up and destroyed by historical forces they can barely comprehend."
– William Boyd, author of LOVE IS BLIND
"Miller conjures up characters who say much more than the words they use. This is a skilled, moving, and saddening account of the waste of human potential and the brutality that often comes with the acquisition and retention of colossal amounts of money."
– The Literary Review
"Mesmerizing. Miller’s novel is both a nuanced character study and a fascinating look at the complexities of Russian society."
– Booklist (starred review) (Praise for Snowdrops)
"An assured debut. Miller memorably captures the city’s atmosphere during the glitzy, anything-goes era that succeeded Soviet Communism. Miller’s uncluttered prose and feel for the city’s Wild West atmosphere are pleasures."
– The Seattle Times (Praise for Snowdrops)
"An intriguing situation, and Miller develops it with verve and elegance. Whether he is capturing the churning crowds in Kiev or the sleepier rhythms of London in August, he always has interesting insights to offer."