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The Summer of the Barshinskeys by Diane…
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The Summer of the Barshinskeys (1984)

by Diane Pearson

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The Russian Barshinskeys made such an impression on the Willoughby children. Edwin fell in love with the beautiful Galina (a whore). She died in Russia. He ended up marrying her sister Daisy to get out of the country. Sullen Ivan fell in love with Lillian and once engaged, she stopped it because he wouldn't stay in the armed forces and wanted to become a "nothing." He ended up marrying Sophie.
The golden time of 1902 was brilliant in Russia until the wore with the Germans broke out. Daisy turned out to be the hero in the book, though she was always belittled for being orphaned when her mother died. ( )
  saucecav | Nov 27, 2006 |
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TO RICHARD,
With my love
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The first time I saw Mr. Barshinskey he was strolling across Tyler's meadow with a fiddle under his arm.
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In the summer of 1902, the Barshinskeys moved from the small village of Kent to teeming London, from war-torn and revolution-rocked Moscow to St. Petersburg. They are fated to entwine with the Willoughbys in endless combinations of friendship, passion, hatred and love.
Although the story of the Barshinskeys, which became our story, too, stretched over many summers and winters, that golden time of 1902 was when our strange, involved relationship began, when our youthful longing for the exotic, for the fulfillment of dreams not even dreamed, took a solid and restless hold upon us." So recounts Sophie Wolloughby as she remembers that magical English summer afternoon in the season of King Edward VII's coronation and at the end of the Boer War; that dreamlike lull in time when the hedgerows were smothered in elderflowers and the meadow air was sweet with haymaking. With her brother, Edwin, her sister, Lillian, Sophie listened to the seductive strains of the wild Russian violin tune Mr. Barshinskey played and watched spellbound as the ragtag Barshinskey family-Ivan, sullen and dirty; Mrs. Barshinskey, pale and withdrawn; and Galina, sensual, wanton, beautiful-made their way across Tyler's meadow and into the Willoughby's world. The delighted Willoughby children could not know that this day and the Barshinskeys' arrival would change their lives forever-much as a breathless Europe could not anticipate that in a few short years, winds of revolution and war would whip across continents, sweeping away the old familiar way of life. It is at this enchanted moment that The Summer of the Barshinskeys begins. A beautifully told, compelling story that moves from the small village of Kent to teeming London, from war-torn and revolution rocked Moscow to St. Petersburg, this is the unforgettable saga of two families whose destinies are fated to entwine in endless combinations of friendship, passion, hatred and love.
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The lives and destinies of two families--the Russian Barshinskeys and the English Willoughbys--intertwine to forge complex bonds of animosity, passion, and friendship during the summer of 1902.

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