Happy Sunday book lovers!
Super excited to share with you today my review for this stunning historical fiction novel! Many thanks to Suzy for my invitation to the tour! What a delight it was to be given the opportunity to read an early copy of this stunner!🌹🌹🌹
A beautiful story about the ugly truth of war. A tale full of courage, determination, strength, compassion, Hope, beauty, and love!
Martha Hall Kelly has written A compelling book that is simultaneously elegant and brutal… this is the kinder gentler cousin of “The Lilac Girls” A book I read and liked, but if I’m being honest I liked this book a bit more… I think for me all the characters in this book were more relatable, and I felt compassion for all of them… really the only common thread between this book and the previous is the character of Caroline Ferriday, a character I liked in the first book but I adored even more in this one… so I wouldn’t necessarily call this a prequel, and both books can definitely be read as standalones… although I’m guessing after you’ve read one you will want to read the other they’re both exquisitely told historical fiction novels full of strong women living through extraordinary circumstances!
“Lost Roses” is the story of three remarkable women Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka… The book is set during WWI and mainly focuses on the atrocities in Russia… both Sofya and Varinka are Russians, although they come from very different backgrounds and social classes… Eliza is an American, she is from a privileged background, she is also the mother of Caroline of “The Lilac Girls”… Eliza and Sofya became friends while at boarding school in Switzerland, Sofya is related to the Romanoffs family…Varinka was not born into privilege as these other ladies were she came to know Sofya when she went to work for the family… three women from three very different backgrounds and yet all their lives are adversely impacted by war…
One of my biggest takeaways from this book was how untouched America really has been by war… yes, many lives were lost and goods were rationed, but I think that is very different from The many more lives lost, the property damage, the horror of living through war on your soil, not to mention bandits taking over your family home… some of the situations that Sofya found her self in were so harrowing… her fortitude and determination were so admirable, I tried to put myself in her situation and I just don’t know if I would have had the strength to do what she did…Varinka really skated the line of right and wrong throughout this book, I felt so much for her because I’m not sure what choices she had… Eliza was strong and compassionate and I admired her loyalty and altruism… such a remarkable story that I feel will resonate with everybody!
This really was historical fiction at its finest, this book made me feel as though I was right there with these ladies during WWI, I felt so much for each and everyone of them and bonus I learned some things along the way! Absolutely recommend!
🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head
This song always reminded me of how we are all more alike than different, it also reminds me of the Cold War and Russia…
… In Europe and America there’s a growing feeling of hysteria.
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets.
MIster Krushchev said, “We will bury you.”
I don’t subscribe to this point of view.
It’d be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too.
How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy?
There is no monopoly on common sense
On either side of the political fence.
We share the same biology, regardless of ideology.
Believe me when I say to you,
I hope the Russians love their children too
… There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the president?
There’s no such thing as a winnable war,
*** many thanks to Random House Valentine for my copy of this book ***
About the Book
The runaway bestseller Lilac Girlsintroduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.
It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorker’s treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov’s. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.
From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre’s who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history.