This closely remembered account of eight years spent in political isolation in the Urals and Siberia has its greatest moments of revelation not so much in Elizabeth Lermolo's own story- tragic as it was- but in the accounts of others met in these prisons who were privy to some of the submerged incidents of the Soviet regime. Mrs. Lermolo was arrested in 1934 and while ""politically uninformed"", was suspect as the wife of a White Guardist and counterrevolutionary. Long interrogations as to her contact (a chance one) with a man involved in the assassination of Stalin's second in command led to torture, and finally these years of imprisonment. Volkov, a fellow prisoner, the personal chef to Lenin witnessed his death by poison. The aunt of Zoya Nikitina told her of this girl's attempt to assassinate Stalin. From the oldest friend of Nadya Allilueva, Stallo's wife, she was given the personal history behind their marriage- unequal in years and uneven in harmony- which ended in Stalin's murder of Allilueva in an outburst of rage. And Mrs. Lermolo's own story of this period of internment, of the disciplines she imposed as a means of ""psychological self-preservation"", of the mental monotony of this life and the physical deterioration, has a personal as well as political interest.