Following the rise of Gorbachev, her husband finally emerges a changed man, but then Irina is forced to witness the worst of capitalism, as her daughter Oksana disappears into the newly rapacious consumer society and she loses her husband again, this time to greed and a lust for power. In the West, Jennifer Moore, the scion of blue-blooded American wealth, takes a high-ranking job at the International Monetary Fund, where she hopes to bring the tough love of the free market economy to the unenlightened masses the world over. But she also has to deal with a philandering husband, Jack Wells, whose pharmaceutical company is a market wonder built on a house of cards, and her sister Allison, a free-spirited anti-globalization activist. Jorge Volpi's Season of Ash puts a human face on earth-shaking events of the late twentieth century: the Chernobyl disaster, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Soviet communism and the rise of the Russian oligarchs, the cascading collapsing of developing economies, and the near-miraculous scientific advances of the Human Genome Project.
A scientific investigation, a journalistic exposé, a detective novel, and a dark love story, Season of Ash is a thrilling exploration of greed and disillusionment, and a clear-eyed examination of the passions that rule our lives and make history.