In a remote Siberian village, amid a lawless, unforgiving landscape, lives Anna Petrovna, a beautiful, willfully self-reliant widowed mother. A mystical, separatist Christian sect, a stranded regiment of restless Czech soldiers, and an eerie local shaman live nearby, all struggling against the elements and great social upheaval to maintain a fragile coexistence.
Out of the woods trudges Samarin, an escapee from Russia's northernmost prison camp, with a terrifyingly outlandish story to tell about his journey. Immediately apprehended, he is brought before the Czech regiment's megalomaniac, Captain Matula. But the stranger's appearance has caught the attention of others, including Anna Petrovna's.
This stranger, his bizarre story—if it is to be believed—and the apparent murder of the local shaman quickly become a flashpoint for this village: temperatures rise, alliances shift, and betrayals emerge. Written with a commanding historical authority and remarkable grace, The People's Act of Love is an epic of desire and sacrifice that leaves the reader utterly mesmerized through to the final heart-pounding pages.