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In the remote Russian village of Mirnoje a woman waits, as she haswaited for almost three decades, for the man she loves to return. Near the endof World War II, nineteen-year-old Boris Koptek leaves the village to join theRussian army, swearing to the sixteen-year-old love of his life, Vera, that, assoon as he returns, they will marry. Young Boris, who, with his engineeringbattalion fights his way almost to Berlin, where literally days before thewar's end, he is reported killed in action crossing the Spree River. But Verarefuses to believe he is dead, and each day, all these years later, faithfullyawaits his return. At first the village applauds her exemplary love, but astime goes on, they question her misplaced fidelity, and even her sanity. Thirty years later, a twenty-six-year-old researcher arrives inthe village, a Leningrad native who is fascinated by both the still-beautifulwoman and her rare story. Day by day, little by little, he falls in love withher, but how can he compete with a ghost that will not die? Beautifully butpowerfully told, The Woman Who Waitedis a bittersweet love story that is sure to move readers for generations. Sustainsa tone of poignancy-think of such contemporary examples as Philip Roth's The Dying Animal and James Salter's A Sport and a Pastime.- Washington Post