Meaghan Delahunt, In the Blue House (Bloomsbury, 2001)

In the Blue HouseThis book is magical, and I found it gripping.  The now-standard feminist insight that “the personal is political” is given voice in this beautiful work.  Ranging from the cold Kremlin bedroom of a brutal Stalin to the warm courtyard of Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s Blue House in Mexico, the spaces of this novel are profoundly interior and public at the same time.  The narrative is shaped by Leon Trotsky’s exile and his relationships with his wife, friends, accusers and would-be assassins.  An imagined history, the novel is full of psychological insight and political intrigue.  No-one escapes from the strictures of ideology and no-one’s love triumphs.