A troika is defined as a Russian vehicle drawn by three horses abreast; it is also the same word used to define that team of horses pulling the vehicle. Another definition is a group a three. And as the title of Adam Pelzman’s new novel, it refers to a most unusual love triangle. Here are the players:
- Julian Pravdin is an immigrant from Siberia, orphaned by a near mythical father and a mother who will do whatever it takes to survive. Julian is an aloof millionaire, with hints of Monte Cristo and Horatio Alger behind the “self-made” man.
- Perla is a Cuban-American stripper whose moxy has captured Julian’s attention. Her current situation is the result of poor choices and rotten luck.
- Sophie is Julian’s wife, paralyzed in a car accident with Julian behind the wheel. Although she’s paralyzed, Sophie’s not as helpless as she seems.
Troika is told through this trio of narrators, and once you’re in their collective grip, they aren’t quick to let go. Pelzman kept me guessing with anticipation.
Troika received a starred Kirkus review and is an IndieNext Pick. It’s scheduled to be released on May 1, 2014, so that gives us 3 weeks of pre-selling excitement. If you presell to reading groups, there are discussion questions available.
This is Pelzman’s first novel. He has been a software entrepreneur, an attorney, and a private investigator. He studied Russian literature at the University of Pennsylvania and received a law degree from UCLA. He lives in New York City with his son. Follow him on Twitter: @AdamPelzman