Review: Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Posted May 3, 2019 by Lily B in Reviews / 19 Comments

Review: Lost Roses by Martha Hall KellyLost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
Series: Lilac Girls
Published by Ballantine Books on April 9, 2019
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 448
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Rating: 4.5 Stars

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced 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.

The year is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so often, that most people have started to disregard it. Eliza Ferriday is happy to be traveling to St. Petersburg with her friend Sofya Streshnayva, who is the cousin of the Romanovs. As the Russian Whites and the Monarchy continue to enjoy their wealth and privilege with fancy balls, the turmoil on the streets continues to spin out of control as the red coats continue to gain power. Until the day that the Russian monarchy is overthrown finally comes, and Russia is left in peril.

The story follows three women. Eliza Ferriday, a socialite that lives in Manhattan, married to Henry Ferriday, mother of Caroline Ferriday. Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin to the Romanovs, the current reigning family of Russia and Varinka Kozlov a poor village girl that gets hired as a nanny to Max by Sofya. A decision that comes back to haunt Sofya when Varinka brings something dangerous back into her home that causes Sofya to part with Max and finds herself on the run for her life in hopes of getting her son back.

This story was, wow. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I adored Martha Hall Kelly’s writing. I have not read the Lilac Girls and I found that it was okay. This book actually happens before Lilac Girls and to me seemed like a good place to start not only with the story but also with Martha Hall Kelly’s writing. I wasn’t disappointed. The writing and the storytelling were woven so beautifully that I found myself savoring as much of the book as I could. I didn’t want to part with it, I didn’t want to say goodbye to these characters that Martha Hall Kelly has managed to capture. Both compelling, strong and realistic, the three women really drove the book and I was happy for the slow pace.

The ending had me on the edge of my seat biting my nails, waiting for resolution, wanting to see how the story wraps up for these women. The author left some threads loose, making it a possible consideration for future books. The writing was really lovely, I really enjoyed the authors writing style, I thought it was just so beautiful.

The story itself seems well researched and I have to admit I don’t recall reading many historical books set during WWI in Russia. I found the story itself, the fall of the Russian monarchy fascinating and heartbreaking. It was just such a dark time during the Russian revolution and I was glad to learn a bit more about it through the eyes of these characters.

There wasn’t much I didn’t enjoy. The ending felt super fast-paced as far as how it wrapped up and despite being slow-paced, to begin with, I found I wouldn’t have minded a bit of a slower ending, yet it worked. My general nit-pickiness comes to the Russian terminology in the book, but as someone who has a general understanding of the language, some sentences with Russian words thrown into them had me pack paddling a little bit. The Russian language uses congregations and every time they appeared wrong in the book my brain automatically found it a bit awkward to read. Like for instance, the word Zalaย appears throughout the book, which I assume refers to like the grand ballroom type room for gatherings and I’m pretty sure it should have been Zalo. But those are just minor details and don’t affect people that wouldn’t know otherwise.

I do love that the author has made a distinction between Ukrainian people and Russian when at one point the White Russian women were told they are going to be sent back to Ukraine and Eliza acknowledged that they are Russian.

Overall. I loved this book like I knew I would the moment I saw it. With that, I am really looking forward to getting my hands on the Lilac Girls because I absolutely am in love with this authors beautiful writing style, there is just something about the way she weaves her words that completely draw me in. I really enjoyed the characters and their flaws, I also enjoyed that time and place this book took place because to me it was a whole new experience that I would love to farther explore.

I will be looking forward to more works from this author in the future.

 

Please follow and like us:
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
Google+
Google+
https://nightowlbookcafe.com/2019/05/03/review-lost-roses-by-martha-hall-kelly/

Tags:

Divider

19 responses to “Review: Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

  1. Oh, this review is absolutely brilliant, Lily! Yes, you have to get to Lilac Girls as soon as you can fit it in. Itโ€™s SO good, and you most assuredly will love it, too, because of how you felt about this one. I donโ€™t think I can pick a favorite between them.

  2. I’m so glad you loved this one and it had all the feels and circumstances in that time were done well. I’m adding it to my list when I’m in the mood.

  3. I do enjoy historical fiction that is set during periods that are not talked about quite as much. I don’t think that I have read a lot set in WWI Russia so that is a big draw. I haven’t had a chance to read this author yet but it sounds like I should give her work a try.

  4. I remember when the Lilac Girls came out. I haven’t had a chance to read it, but I remember thinking it looked so good! Now we both have it to look forward to! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I was thinking the same thing when I read the blurb – there aren’t a lot of books set during WWI. I’m sure we’d find some if we were to seek some out, but just perusing new releases, it seems WWII is a more popular topic.

    Great review!

  5. It sounds like I need to read this one. I love books set during WWI and WWII and I donโ€™t know that much about Russian history. I will add this to my list. Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. My mom loaned my The Lilac Girls but I haven’t got around to reading it yet. To be honest, this one sounds way more interesting to me! I’ve always had a fascination with Russian history/culture and din’t realize that this one took place around the fall of the Romanovs. That’s all I need to know… I’m hooked. ๐Ÿ™‚ Between the synopsis and your review, this one just became a must read!

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted: April Wrap-Up
  7. Historical fiction isn’t really my thing, but I love books that keep you on the edge of your seat! I’m not a nail biter, but I will twist my hair around my fingers over and over again as I wait for the other shoe to drop. I’m glad this one was a win for you!

    Also, I see you use the book blogger icon tags, too! It’s something I’ve recently started doing, and I also made my own set if you’re looking for something new, or that you might not have. They’re free for anyone to use, so just thought I’d put that out there. There’s a tab at the top of my blog. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? ๐Ÿ’ฌ

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.