Push Me Off the Cliff


Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
284 Pages
Reviewed on 05/22/2021
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Author Biography

Marina Osipova was born in East Germany into a military family and grew up in Russia where she graduated from the Moscow State Institute of History and Archives. She also has a diploma as a German language translator from the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Languages. In Russia, she worked first in a scientific-technical institute as a translator then in a Government Ministry in the office of international relations, later for some Austrian firms. For seventeen years, she lived in the United States where she worked in a law firm. Eventually, she found her home in Austria. She is an award-winning author and a member of the Historical Novel Society and a member of the Historical Novel Society.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Push Me Off The Cliff is a work of fiction in the historical fiction, family saga, and interpersonal drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Marina Osipova. The work is intended for the general adult reading audience and contains references to suicide and acute experiences of trauma and PTSD. Our protagonists are Maria, a woman reliving nightmares of her time on the front during the Second World War, and Armen, a man haunted by the loneliness of living after such trauma. In the spring of 1948, Maria must seek Armen out and discover if she is willing to risk it all to aid him, whilst Armen must face his despair head-on and find out if he even has the will left to survive.

Author Marina Osipova has crafted a beautiful, tragic, and very emotive work of fiction with plenty of cultural and historical richness to offer readers. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was its commitment to the cultural realities and sensitivities of the two main characters, as the book represents a less than typical view of both World Wars, from under-represented perspectives. This was refreshing and brilliantly achieved through close narration and attention to detail in the central pairing of characters. The dialogue was also most effective, serving to display the unique traits of the characters whilst moving the plot forward in a naturalistic way. Overall, I would highly recommend Push Me Off The Cliff to fans of emotional psychological dramas, deep character studies, and readers everywhere who enjoy thematic, deep writing with confident realism.

Pikasho Deka

Push Me Off The Cliff is a heart-wrenching historical fiction novel written by Marina Osipova. Armen is a second-generation Armenian refugee whose mother fled persecution by the Ottoman Turks during World War I. When the Germans invade Russia in 1941, Armen enlists in the Red Army as a dog handler. Meanwhile, Maria is a nineteen-year-old patriotic Russian woman. Bound by a sense of duty to her country, she enrolls as a communications specialist in the Army. But the years at war take a grueling toll on Armen and Maria, both physically and mentally. Armen transforms into a legless cripple battling a morphine addiction while Maria suffers from chronic back pain. After fate crosses their paths again, the two lost souls find the comfort and love they had been searching for forever.

Author Marina Osipova pulls no punches in showcasing the absolute horrors of war and weaves a moving love story into its backdrop. Push Me Off the Cliff is gritty, brutal, and unabashedly uncompromising. It is a character-driven story, and both the protagonists, Maria and Armen, felt deeply layered and three-dimensional. I constantly found myself moved by the complexity of emotions and thoughts displayed by the protagonists. Armen's reaction to seeing the Armenian lady Anahid evokes a profound emotional catharsis. The narrative spans several years, and the plot moves at a fast pace. Marina Osipova never flinches from the sheer brutality of war and describes those scenes in vivid detail. Anyone who enjoys realistic and gritty war stories should check out Push Me Off the Cliff.

Romuald Dzemo

Push Me Off the Cliff by Marina Osipova is a passionate and character-driven historical novel that tells the horrors of war and the devastating effects on people. Set in the years during and after WWII, the story follows the lives of Maria and Armen. They first meet at the front, while Maria works as a radio specialist and Armen as a canine trainer, training military dogs. Nothing dramatic happens between them. But while on their separate paths, Armen loses his legs to the war. His life becomes difficult, and even if he is a veteran, he lives in misery, feeling betrayed and forlorn to the point that he crawls to the cliff and beckons his mother to push him off. She refuses. A chance encounter with Maria offers them the opportunity to reconnect again, but can they allow the pain in their hearts to dissipate in an embrace of love?

This emotionally rich story brilliantly explores the theme of war and how it affects everyone, including family. Marina Osipova creates characters that are fully drawn and captivating, writing them into tough and painful situations. Armen’s family has had a long experience of war and it is heartbreaking to listen to his mother’s reminiscences of the native Armenian genocide. The plot is complex with twists that no reader can expect. The reader will be racing from one gripping page to the next as they follow scenes that are emotionally intense and expertly written. The smart phraseology elevates the beauty of the story. Marina Osipova shows readers the aching experience of war through the lives of deftly written characters. It is immersive, brimming with pathos, and permeated by realism and humanity. There is a melancholy that rubs off on the reader, a melancholy that is skillfully captured and delivered in stellar storytelling, and it enriches the humanity of the characters, making them real and relatable. Push Me Off the Cliff is a story that castigates war in the most compelling of ways.