Pursued from country to country by Stalin's GPU agents, Leon Trotsky finds refuge in Mexico City in 1937. There he encounters the fire and splendor of the artist Frida Kahlo who, with her husband Diego Rivera, welcomes Trotsky and his wife Natalia into their home, the Casa Azul.
Meaghan Delahunt's breathtaking first novel explores those extraordinary years in Mexico, but also spreads before the reader a panorama of Russian history, revolution, and upheaval throughout the first half of the twentieth century. We hear from Stalin's desolate young wife, and Trotsky's Ukrainian Jewish father, baffled by the dissolution of his own estate and the rise of his son, and from Trotsky himself, still smarting from his brief love affair with the mesmerizing Frida. Their voices mingle with the tales of the lesser known who, in their way, have also created history: the Mexican artist who foretells Trotsky's death; a Bolshevik engineer surviving the chill of the Stalinist regime; and the bodyguard who is unable to prevent Trotsky's assassination.
In the Casa Azul insightfully examines politics and art, as well as disillusionment and loss in the service of high ideals. This is a remarkable debut, a work of deep understanding and stunning literary artistry.