I shared this book on my Instagram a couple of days ago and I’m sharing it again here because it’s a book I think deserves all the attention!
If I had to pick a favorite historical fiction book, it’d be Lilac Girls. I won’t do a review about that one in this post but let me just tell you that you will want to read it. I loved Martha Hall’s Lilac Girls so much. Her writing was incredible. I even stuck post it notes all over the book and I’m not one to usually highlight or write down quotes while I’m reading. That’s how good it was.
This is the prequel to Lilac Girls. I’ve been awaiting to read this book so long but sadly I just haven’t had the time to really enjoy a book lately. One thing is for sure though, this book will definitely rank high on my summer reading list. Thank you to Random House for providing me with this advanced reading copy.
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.
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.
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 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.
This book and Lilac Girls are out now! I hope you will add one or both to your tbr soon.