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Lost roses : a novel
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Fiction/Biography Profile
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
Female friendship
Russian society
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

Set a generation before the events in Kelly's Lilac Girls, this prequel depicts Russians caught up in World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution. Sofya Streshnayva (read with a Russian accent by Kathleen Gati), aristocratic cousin to the doomed tsar, sees her family estate ransacked by Bolsheviks and her father and stepmother murdered. She must flee to Paris, leaving her son Max behind. Socialite Eliza Ferriday (dramatically read by Tavia Gilbert) is the mother of Caroline Ferriday and a friend of Sofya's who comes to her aid when revolution destroys her world. Luba (read by Catherine Taber with a Russian inflection) is the younger sister of Sofya. She loves astronomy and flees the doomed estate, making her way to Paris. Varinka, voiced by Karissa Vacker, works in the nursery on the estate. She kidnaps Max and, with her Bolshevik protector, also lands in Paris. VERDICT Recommended for those who enjoyed Lilac Girls, or those who like historic fiction with authentic details.--David Faucheux, Lafayette, LA

  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.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * 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, #1 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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