A story of one family's border-crossing adventure to rescue one another and make peace with the past, set in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, two years after the occupation of South Ossetia by Russia in 2008.
Contrivances abound in this first novel — both in plot and in language ... Reclamation skews romantic through the overuse of aphorism ... When the story is propelled by political cynicism, by cigarettes and vodka, one can see streaks of Emmanuel Carrère and Jean-Patrick Manchette in the writing. Cunning and unstinting, humanist and self-aware, Vardiashvili nears noir excellence. Even more exquisite are the descriptions of Tbilisi, written as though the author was long at sea and is now desperately grasping for connection ... The most memorable passages in evoke a thorough understanding of war, escape and violence; in one, old gravestones have been effaced of their names by the rain. In these moments, this novel becomes a palimpsest, reflecting the cyclical nature of familial death and individual reconstitution. The unstable way we return home.