The Diary of Nina Kosterina
Nina Kosterina began her diary in 1936, when she was fifteen years old. She wrote the last entry in 1941, on the eve of her departure for the front to fight against the invading Germans, where she was killed. Apart from being an absorbing and remarkably contemporary story of the growing up of a vital rebellious adolescent, this moving document is also a revealing and candid record of the life of young people in Soviet Russia during the great Stalinist purges and trials, and the early days of World War II. Though many of Nina Kosterina's preoccupations were personal, the larger political events of the time shadowed her life and filled her diary increasingly - as the reign of terror spread, enveloping first the parents of her friends and then her own father and family.