In 2014, Victoria Belim's hometown Kyiv was gripped by protests and violent suppression. Crimea, where she'd been sent to school to avoid radiation from the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, was invaded. Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Mariupol all became battlegrounds. A naturalized American citizen then living in Brussels, Belim felt she had to go back. The Rooster House is a beautifully written memoir of a family, a country's past, and its dangerous present. It is about parents and children, true believers and victims, gardens and art, secrets and tragedy. It is a stunning debut book by an experienced, expressive, and gifted writer.