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Lost roses : a novel
2019
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Eliza Ferriday (Female), New Yorker, Travels to Russia with her best friend Sofya
Sofya Streshnayva (Female), Eliza's best friend; cousin of the Romanovs
Varinka (Female), Domestic, Daughter of a fortune-teller; hired as domestic help for Sofya and her family at their country estate
Genre
Fiction
Domestic
Historical
War
Topics
Women
Female friendship
Family
Russian society
Setting
Russia - Europe / Eastern Europe / Asia
Paris, France - Europe
New York - Mid-Atlantic States (U.S.)
Time Period
1914 -- 20th century
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Kelly's prequel to her hugely successful Lilac Girls again tells the story of three women tested by dramatic historical events. This time the chaos of the Russian Revolution takes center stage as Sofya, a Russian aristocrat, fights to survive and to recover her missing child while her friend Eliza Ferriday (mother of Lilac Girls' Caroline) strives to discover Sofya's fate while welcoming other desperate Russian refugees to the United States. Meanwhile, peasant girl Varinka is closely connected to those committing terrible deeds in the name of revolution. Sofya has by far the most compelling story line, and some readers may get restless when reading about Eliza's relatively low-stakes activities. Varinka's tale largely feels like a missed opportunity for a more nuanced exploration of the forces behind the 1917 uprising, as the revolutionaries we get to know best through her are unquestionably irredeemable creeps. VERDICT Overall, this novel builds to an emotionally satisfying conclusion, and readers who loved Lilac Girls will likely be keen to learn more about the -Ferridays. Also suggest to fans of recent Russian historical fiction hits such as Amor Towles's A Gentleman in Moscow and C.W. Gortner's The Romanov Empress. [See Prepub Alert, 10/29/18; an editor's pick, LJ 2/19.]-Mara Bandy Fass, Champaign P.L., IL © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

How Caroline Ferriday, the real-life character featured in Kelly's Lilac Girls, was inspired to become an advocate for Polish refugees who survived WWII comes to light in this lively, well-researched prequel in which she appears as a child. Here the story focuses on her mother, Eliza, who set an example for her daughter by being a champion for Russian nobility brutalized during WWI. Just as the author focused on three strong women surviving a war in her previous novel, she does the same here: in addition to Eliza, there is her aristocrat friend Sofya Streshnayva (cousin to the tsar) and a Russian peasant girl, Varinka. The author follows the trajectory of their lives from 1914 through WWI and then the Russian Revolution and its aftermath with page-tuning brio. Interweaving three story lines (Varinka ends up working for the Streshnayva household) where all three are emotionally and physically put to the test, the author depicts Eliza's upper-class life in America and how, despite personal loss, she throws herself into helping Russian emigres; Sofya's tragic circumstances when a rowdy, dangerous mob takes over the family's country home; and Varinka's struggles as a peasant girl at the mercy of a man who is both abusive and protective toward her. Some story lines strain credibility (coincidences and melodramatic cliffhangers abound) or are questionable (the prurient element involved with Varinka's protector/abuser falls flat). Nevertheless, Kelly memorably portrays three indomitable women who triumph over hardships and successfully brings a complex and turbulent time in history to life. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The perfect Mother's Day gift! The million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now Lost Roses , 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. <br> <br> "Not only a brilliant historical tale, but a love song to all the ways our friendships carry us through the worst of times." -- Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours <br> <br> It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. 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: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar's Winter Palace, the famous ballet.<br> <br> 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 fortune-teller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.<br> <br> 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. <br> <br> From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris where a society of fallen Russian émigrés live to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways. In her newest powerful tale told through female-driven perspectives, Martha Hall Kelly celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women's friendship, especially during the darkest days of history.<br> <br> Praise for Lost Roses <br> <br> "A charming and vividly rendered historical novel . . . Based on true events, this prequel to Lilac Girls transports." -- People <br> <br> "Inspired by true events, just like its predecessor, and just as well-researched, Lost Roses is a remarkable story and another testament to female strength. This sweeping epic will thrill and delight fans of Lilac Girls and readers of historical fiction alike." --PopSugar
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