The Storks’ Nest: Life and Love in the Russian Countryside 

Laura Lynne Williams, 2008

The Storks’ Nest is the true story of a young American woman who moves to a remote village in western Russia and falls in love with a nature photographer. Together they explore the wilderness of the impenetrable Bryansk Forest, coming face-to-face with bison and bears, apprehending poachers and a runaway stallion, and raising a stork and a moose. As they build a house and a life together, nature often sets the agenda, bringing floods and impassable roads, blood-sucking insects, and bone-chilling cold. Yet, these present-day hardships are nothing compared to those the Chukhrai villagers have experienced in the past century-from forced hunger to Communist repression to Hitler’s invasion. As Laura learns about the history and life of the village and its 19 inhabitants, she discovers the enduring spirit of the Russian people and the immeasurable joys of living with nature.