Maylis De Kerangals Eastbound relates a Russian soldier, Aliocha, attempting to evade military service by hiding aboard a Trans-Siberian railcar venturing from Moscow to Vladivostok. Aliochas determined flight, given the militarys endless reach, has proven to be the only rational response to the dysfunction and brutality of his corps. More than a prescient one-sided tale, Eastbound also depicts a young French woman, Hélène, fleeing an unsatisfactory relationship. In order to successfully flee, each must trust the other, difficult given a strict language barrier. The novels relentless pace is matched by De Kerangals beautiful lyricism. Simple acts, like preparing to step outside from a train car, are written with masterful, close attention.