Who Is Mr. Plutin?

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Ready for a fun, interesting read, one that crosses cultures and makes you laugh? If so, jump into Who Is Mr. Plutin?, a new novel by author Rebecca Strong. I picked it up and couldn't put it down - for here is a heroine somewhat like the rest of us, who blunders around, tries her hardest, and is stunned at the way her life has turned out. It's a tale of Russia and New York, of memory and spying, of family and money. What I love most is that this book is relateable - for despite crossing cultures - and socio-economic status - it gives us a look into what it might be like to be extremely wealthy in Russia - and how the life of a 20-something in New York City can fit into that worldview. Rebecca Strong does a remarkable job of creating an interesting heroine, and filling the background with equally interesting characters, including Russia herself. I love this book, for it made me think, laugh, crave blini, head to the Hermitage website to look at art, and stay up late, reading. It's that good. Highly recommended!

Who is Mr. Plutin? An interview with author Rebecca Strong

We were lucky enough to catch up with Strong, and ask her about her book, inspiration, reality, and more. Here's what she had to say...

Please tell us about your book, Who Is Mr. Plutin?

Fun, fast-paced women's fiction meets mystery and espionage. Set in today's Russia where your success in life depends on the clothes you wear, car you drive, and people you stay away from, my novel features a strong-minded, although often ditzy, heroine who must navigate her role of a Russian it-girl and an elite agent while also dealing with memory loss -- the side-effects of her Agency's experimental procedure.

A really short summary: Two superpowers, one female agent, zero second chances, and plenty of Dom Perignon. What can go wrong?

A bit longer: Yesterday Vika Serkova was in New York, eating takeout alone in her closet-sized apartment. Today she wakes up with a wedding ring on her finger, next to a man who claims to be her husband. In a designer flat in St Petersburg, Russia. Huh?

Her new reality is full of surprises. She owns only stilettos but can't take a step in them without falling. People around her seem to think she's lived in Russia her entire life. Her daily routine includes thousand-dollar spa visits with caviar and Dom Pérignon. And her husband is a handsome oligarch who buys her jewelry without any occasion. This new Russian life seems to be as different from the old American life as two countries' views on Crimea.

Has reality blown a fuse? Vika won't worry about it now that she is a living Cinderella story. At least not until her husband drops an ultimate bomb about why she's forgotten everything, about the work she does with her father, and about her current assignment for the Russian President. The assignment, which, as she discovers a day later, sets her against her husband in a conspiracy big enough to cost them not only their Breguets but very possibly their lives. To save herself and the family she is beginning to remember Vika needs to fool them into defecting. A perfect plan but only if she can manage it with her Russian memory MIA and her opponents set on destroying each other even before Vika's manicure dries. 

What inspired you to write this book?

I left Russia before the fall of the Berlin Wall. When I came back -- some 16 years later -- I still had my native Russian, yet I'd forgotten how things worked. More than once, I got surprised glances for asking questions Russians thought I should know. "You sound Russian," they'd say, "how is it that you don't know this?" So I thought: what if I have a heroine who was Russian yet all her memories were American? This is how I met Vika, my character. Her personality dictated the rest of the book.

Fiction can be stranger than reality - or no? How does your experience in Russia match up with this story?

I'd say reality is stranger than fiction -- at least that holds true for stories and experiences I've gathered while living in Russia. Many of those stories and experiences made it into the book, which is why some readers have said that it often reads like a satirical representation of Russia's society of today. 

What's up next for you?

I am working on a memoir and writing quite a few personal essays. After that, I'll probably do a sequel - Vika is too fun a character to forget about.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

The book trailer! It's a short, funny story of me going into hiding because of the book and it's the very first (and probably the last) acting job I've done. 


Learn more: www.Rebecca-Strong.com


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YM36NAW/ref=cm_sw_su_dp
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/who-is-mr-plutin-rebecca-strong/1122194908?ean=2940151989787