Turbulent times bring about much upheaval, destroying lives, making people make choices, decisions, that are often life threatening, and ultimately move in directions they never thought possible.
If you have read The Lilac Girls you already have been introduced to Caroline Ferriday. In this book, Lost Roses, we take a step back in history and meet Caroline’s mother, Eliza. The story focuses on three women, Eliza Ferriday, a New York socialite, Sofya Streshnayva, a relation of the Tsar and a close friend of Eliza’s, and Varinka Kozlov, a girl hired by the Streshnayva family to help in the household. It is 1914 and the world is teetering on the brink of war. Tensions are high, people are starving, and in Russia, upheaval is on the horizon as the Tsar is about to be overthrown and life for those associated or related to the royals is not only changing dramatically but also many are finding that their lives are ending.
Sofya and Varinka are in peril. Sofya and her family, because of their proximity to royalty and Varinka, daughter of a well known fortune teller, because she and her mother are under the thumb of two evil revolutionaries are in danger. They all find themselves caught up in the turmoil and unrest that threatens their very lives. Meanwhile, in America, Eliza worries and does all she can to secure the safety of Sofya, knowing her friend and family is in a grave situation.
Eliza Ferriday was a true friend. She it is who we come to know not only as a friend but also as a compassionate woman who so understood the plight of her dearest friend, but also that of those who were able to escape and come to America, particularly to Southampton New York. She did all she could to find her friend but she also did all within her power to aid those Russians so fallen from their previous status, to find jobs and new lives here in this country.
The author weaves a story of danger, a story of friendship, of love, done so well that the characters find their way into you heart and mind. She makes them all come alive, giving authenticity to their feelings, their struggles, and their will to live. This is a story of wealth, a story of a fall from that pedestal that many had experienced before the Communists came to power. It is also a brief look into the lives of the peasants living under the Tsar and how their lives were bitter and oppressive. Russia was ripe for revolution, and when it came, no one living there was ever the same.
As always, it is so wonderful to learn of things that are unknown in our history. Ironically, my husband’s family owned homes in Southampton not too far away from the places mentioned in this book. It is always so interesting and riveting when one makes that connection to a place they once lived. I high recommend this book to all of those who love history and superior story telling.
Thank you to Martha Hall Kelly, Ballantine Books, and NetGalley for forwarding this exquisite story to me.
This book is due to be published on April 9, 2019
and here’s the author:
Martha grew up in Massachusetts and now splits her time between Connecticut, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years and raised three splendid children, while researching and writing Lilac Girls, her first novel. She is excited to share the prequel, Lost Roses, coming this April and is thrilled she doesn’t have to say good-bye to Caroline and Eliza. You’ll find more info about the incredible, true stories behind both books at her website: http://www.marthahallkelly.com and clues about the prequel Lost Roses on her ever-changing Pinterest page.