Peter Leithart ads to Thomas Nelson Publishing’s “Christian Encounters” series with a look at Fyodor Dostoevsky. A biography told as a narrative story, Leithart looks at Dostoevsky’s life from his influential time in exile in Siberia through the death of his first wife and marriage to his second wife up to his death. The short biography chronicles his struggles as a writer, his devotion to Russia and his belief that only in Christ could Russians come together through forgiveness and grace.

The “Christian Encounters” series is a nice way to get into the lives of people like Dostoevsky who was a man of faith, but his life is unfamiliar to most of us. His was a fascinating life: finding God in the midst of exile in Siberia, laboring to help Russia find her identity, struggling with epileptic fits. Dostoevsky struggled financially, seldom having enough to be comfortable and often living with looming debt; yet he kept working at his writing and publishing, whilst doing what he could for his family.

At first it took a little time to follow the story of Dostoevsky’s life, as the narrative jumped back and forth, and there were many new, unfamiliar Russian names to learn and remember who they were, but as the story progressed, I enjoyed learning about this wonderful writer and man of faith.

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