Review: Troika by Adam Pelzman

Troika by Adam Pelzman

The Berkley Publishing Group

Published by the Penguin Group, 2014

Readers Guide by Penguin Group (USA) LLC, 2015

Description (from the back cover)

“A young Cuban women passes her nights dancing in a seedy Florida strip club; a Russian orphan loses everything, then builds a new and prosperous life for himself in New York; a women struggles to maintain her dignity and hope after a life-changing accident – these are the three members of the troika whose story is told in this dazzling literary debut.

Their lives unexpectedly intertwined, Perla, Julian, and Sophie discover a world – a way of life – that forces them to challenge their definitions of commitment, love and trust.  A world that heals old wounds and inspires them to transform tragedy into beauty.”

Definition of Troika from Merriam-Webster

Full Definition of TROIKA

1:  a Russian vehicle drawn by three horses abreast; also  :  a team for such a vehicle
2:  a group of three; especially  :  an administrative or ruling body of three

My Review (4 Stars: Liked it a lot!)

Overall Troika by Adam Pelzman is creative, thought provoking and entertaining.  Many, if not all, of the chapters are sub-stories that pull together to create the full picture.

Perla is a dancer in a striptease joint in Florida, not a prostitute.  One night Julian enters the place and Perla makes her signature moves on him.  Julian is a rich businessmen from New York.  They  quickly form a relationship and begin to meet at his hotel every couple of months or so when he visits.  Perla begins to question whether she has a right to know more about him and whether she should continue seeing him.

Throughout the chapters we learn more about Perla and Julian.  Julian has an amazing backstory, beginning with him being a Russian orphan.  This novel came to a suprising conclusion when the third party of the “Trokia”, Sophie,  is introduced and we learn more about Julian’s life in New York.

There is sexual tension throughout this novel.    All three, Perla, Julian and Sophie, have interesting stories and personalities, to say the least.  Author, Adam Pelzman, in his debut novel, leads the reader to question their beliefs about relationships.

There are thought provoking discussion questions included at the end of the book.

I’d like to thank the author, Adam Pelzman, and publisher,  The Berkley Publishing Group – Penguin Group, for sending me this book, free of charge, for review.

First Paragraph


He comes in the first time, eight o’clock on a Tuesday night and it’s real slow.  White, maybe forty, real handsome in an odd way — unusual — with a crooked nose like some Irish boxer.  He’s got sharp clothes and messed-up hair, not sloppy but sort of stylish, and a fancy watch, blue face with gold around the edges, and I’m thinking ooh, that’s a pricey watch.”

About the Author (from the author’s website)

Adam Pelzman studied Russian literature at the University of Pennsylvania and received a law degree from UCLA. Born in Seattle and raised in northern New Jersey, he has spent most of his life in New York City, where he now lives with his son.

Disclosure of Material Connection: 

I received this book free from the publisher, The Berkley Publishing Group a Division of  Penguin Group (USA).   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


  1. I hadn’t heard anything about this book….but it does sound fascinating. It seems as though the characters have nothing in common…but I’m sure the author will reveal more to us. At the very least, they are all searching….

    Thanks for sharing!


  2. I have this on my list, but haven’t heard much about it. I don’t know about concentric stories. I’m not a big fan. I’ll have to investigate more.


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