Talking to the Moon, book by Elena Ivanova

I escaped a dark and soul-crushing world where my life wasn't my own. I was entirely alone. I could trust no one. By sheer accident, I met a mysterious westerner online, mere weeks from forced marriage. Not only did she shatter my programming, but suggested we meet in Kiev. Escaping from Russia, and winning the battle to take back my life, was the only way I could survive.

Elena and Meg, offshore


Elena fled her homeland, career, family and friends to live as she wants. She fled Russia and an impending forced marriage. She lived like a deep-cover spy to effect an elaborate escape to Kiev, Ukraine, where she met a westerner and triggered a chain of events that led to the two women crossing the planet in a run for their lives. At the time the story of "Elena and Meg" went viral in 2017, Elena had written a memoir of her escape in Russian. Finally, she has retold the story, in English. Talking to the Moon is Elena's account of events over half a year, from meeting Meg online, to finally engineering a hair raising escape to Ukraine.

A photo, Elena sent Meg

A photo, Elena sent Meg


She was destined to be bound to a man she wanted nothing to do with. All of it, because others told her to. It was madness! No! No!

At work, from an open stairwell window, nine floors up, Elena stared at the ground. It was enticing. Her pain would end. But no one would know what she felt, or why she ended her life. No one would know what she and Natalia shared, or that they even knew each other. That terrified Elena more than anything. Her own life was a lie: a never-ending betrayal.

Elena was in awe. Meg was the very first example in her life of someone bowing down to nobody. She was a vestige of no one. Not only that, it was by Meg's own choice! Elena was amazed, she discovered that a woman could choose a life without a husband and children. It was a dangerous notion in Russia. A radical idea. Elena did not have to be with some one she didn't want to be with. It was up to her!

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"Talking to the Moon" © Elena Ivanova, 2021

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

This book is memoir. It reflects the author's present recollections of experiences over time. Some dialogue has been recreated.