Lena knows she hasn’t got long left. While a nurse administers morphine to ease her pain, she relives her life. Growing up in a small town in Poland, she was an earnest young girl determined to become a doctor who found her dreams put on hold as she became the reluctant wife of an army officer and then again by becoming a mother, in which she finds a fierce and surprising joy.
As war approaches, she returns home. But when Russia invades her middle-class family are deemed Enemies of the State and sent to the work camp in Siberia. It is in the endless forest, where, despite the bitter cold, the biting hunger and the back-breaking work, Lena learns that it is possible to fall in love at the edge of the world and the edge of life.
When her lover, Grigori, falls ill she takes the decision to use the precious antibiotics she was given in Poland, to save him. It means that when her daughter becomes sick, she is unable to save her. It’s a decision that will continue to haunt her after the war, even as she builds a tentative new life, first in Wales, then England.
Exploring marriage, motherhood, and our incredible capacity for cultivating hope in the darkest times, The Snow Hare is the unforgettable story of a woman who dares to love and to dream in the face of impossible odds, and of the peace we each must make with our choices, even long after the years have gone by.
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