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Lost Roses: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly

Lost Roses: A Novel (edition 2019)

by Martha Hall Kelly (Author)

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17614101,042 (3.85)5
Title:Lost Roses: A Novel
Authors:Martha Hall Kelly (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (2019), 448 pages
Collections:Your library

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Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly



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Prequel to The Lilac Girls, this provides the story of Eliza Woolsey Mitchell Farriday's life in New York City, Southampton, Bethlehem, and around the world, but especially in Paris. Eliza was Caroline Farriday's mother who lost her husband, Henry, to pneumonia at a fairly young age. She was a society woman who worked for causes--especially for the White Russian women who had fled the Bolsheviks in Russia. The main characters were Eliza, Sofya (a cousin of the Tzar), Luba (Sofy's younger sister), and Varinka (a Russian peasant girl who begins by helping with Eliza's son, Maxwell) who is closely associated with Taras, a Bolshevik murderer. In some places, the action is hard to believe such as Sofya's 1500 mile trip alone by cart and horse from Russia to Paris during World War I. ( )
  baughga | Jun 2, 2019 |
The book dealt with Russian history during WWI from the point of view of an aristocrat and a peasant. Although none of the characters are particularly likable, it was nice that there was a pleasant conclusion to the book. A note by the author at the end of the book was interesting and informative as to how the characters came about. ( )
  lbswiener | May 8, 2019 |
Devoured this book.

Funny how things connect. Reading the Louise Bryant book several weeks ago about the Russian revolution and embracing of communism. How it was all so romantic and thrilling and how America could use a healthy dose of comrade-ism.

The treatment of the upper class, deserved or not, was horrendous.

And some of the story was a trifle far fetched yet I was enthralled. She is a magnificent story teller! ( )
  Alphawoman | May 8, 2019 |
Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly is the prequel to her first novel The Lilac Girls. The Lilac Girls tells the story of Polish girls sent to Ravensbruck where the Nazis perform disfiguring operations on their legs. After the war, American socialite Caroline Ferriday takes up their cause and brings them to New York City for corrective surgery.

In this new book, Kelly turns her attention to Caroline's mother Eliza who was friends with Russian aristocrats, cousins of the Romanovs. Like others of their class, they lead a decadent and luxurious life. Kelly draws the daughters and their father to be sympathetic, their stepmother less so. With the toppling of the Tsar and the uprising against the aristocrats, the family finds themselves at the mercy of the Reds. The brutality of the Reds is depicted through two former prisoners who hold the family hostage.

Any 'White Russians' who could fled Russia. Meeting some of these refugee women, Eliza had compassion and organized to find them homes and employment.

The focus is on one of the daughter's search for her son who was both rescued and separated from her during the uprising and the peasant girl who keeps him. It allows us to see two sides of the revolution while engaging our sympathy.

Kelly fell in love with the Ferriday family while researching her first book. She is writing a second prequel about the family set during the Civil War. This book adds to the Ferriday family's history.

The novel is the May Barnes and Noble Book Club selection. I purchased a copy ( )
  nancyadair | May 5, 2019 |
This is a prequel to Lilac Girls. The book follows Eliza, a U.S. socialite, Sofya, a cousin to the Russian Tsar, and Varinka, a Russian peasant. The Russia revolution threatens Sofya's way of life, as red soldiers overrun their home and hold them prisoner. Varinka, once a nanny for Sofya, steals the baby, claiming it as her own. Back home, Eliza does everything she can to help the white Russian's who have fled to the United States, all the while searching for news of Sofya.

This was a well written, well paced and engaging book. I thought it was fascinating to read about the fall of Russia from both the red and white perspective. I haven't read many books, outside of those focusing on the Tsar and his family, about how the revolution impacted the noble class. Overall, well worth picking up. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Apr 24, 2019 |
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"It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, 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. 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 émigrés 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"--… (more)

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