Lost Roses (Lilac Girls, #2 Prequel)by Martha Hall Kelly Published 09 Apr 2019
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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.
"Lost Roses (Lilac Girls, #2 Prequel)" Reviews
The author of the epic Lilac Girls returns with a tale set during World War I, cleverly braiding the tales of Eliza Ferriday, a cousin of the Romaonovs in Russia, and the daughter of a fortune teller, who brings with her unknown danger.
The moment you realize that the second book is just as intelligent, respectful and endearing as the first... I have waited for a new book from Martha Hall Kelly and am so honored that I was able to read this one early, I loved it. (And my obsession with books about Russia was fed!) Can't wait for the next one and will plan a trip to the Ferriday home as soon as I can get there. These are women that should be celebrated.
This fantastic new book is a prequel to The Lilac Girls. It features Caroline's mother, Eliza during the time period of WWI and the Russian revolution. As with the Lilac Girls, this book features strong women who are working and sacrificing to make the world a better place during a difficult time in world history. (Note - you don't need to read The Lilac Girls before you read Lost Roses. However, Lilac Girls is such a fantastic book that you need to make sure that you read it soon.)
Eliza is a happily married very wealthy woman who lives with her husband Henry and her daughter in Caroline in New York. She loves to travel and as the book begins is planning a trip to St. Petersburg to accompany her best friend Sofya home from her visit to the US. The year is 1914 and when WWI escalates and the Romanov empire in Russia is beginning to collapse, Eliza returns safely home. Sofya and her family think that they will remain safe in Russia because they are cousins of the Romanov's but the uprising of the poor in Russia also includes the end of the rich upper class - no matter who they are. When Eiza quits getting mail from Sofya, she fears the worst for her friend.
These two women live very rich and pampered lives but still have empathy for what is going on in the world. Both of them are put into difficult situations and change their lives to work for those who have less than they do. At a time in history that is very difficult, they both show their strength in the decisions they make and the battles they fight. I loved and admired both of these strong women and highly recommend this novel.
Thanks to net galley for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
Won this ARC in a GoodReads Giveaway. Lost Roses is a prequel to the excellent Lilac Girls and focuses on Caroline's mother Eliza Ferriday and her work in assisting White Russian Emigres as well as a another pair of storylines about her good friend Sofya who gets caught up in the revolution and a peasant girl Varinka who is working for Sofya's family just prior to it. If you loved Lilac Girls (and I did) then you will love probably love Lost Roses as much as I did.
I am fascinated by the the legacy of strong principled women in Caroline Ferriday's family tree and I am excited to learn more about them all. The author is evidently working on another female ancestor who was an abolitionist and activist just prior to and during the Civil War so this is an amazing family and I am really excited to read the next book!
This novel is a prequel to The Lilac Girls and features the real life heroine Caroline Ferriday. The world is in turmoil and edging toward World War One. We learn about Caroline's mother, Eliza and two other women that are thrown into the intense situations they faced in 1914. Eliza is the connection between the two novels - The Lilac Girls and Lost Roses , but this one could easily be read as stand-alone.
The story follows the lives of three women. Eliza who is a socialite and lives in Manhattan. Her friend Sofya Streshnayva, is a cousin of the Romanov's, the reigning dynasty in Russia. While visiting her in St. Petersburg, Eliza becomes aware that war is imminent and fears for her friend Sofya, who seems unaware of the danger that could come. When war is declared, Eliza heads back home to America.
Varinka Kozlov is a Russian girl, who the Romanov family hire to help in their household. She is the daughter of a well-known fortune-teller and her situation is dire. I tried to imagine the helplessness that she felt when she had to make some dangerous decisions. Varinka and her mom are under the thumb of some dangerous men that are involved in the local uprisings. Lets just say, she has a lot going on. and makes some decisions that will impact all of these women. A story of three strong, determined women and their quest for survival.
While this story is not as fast-paced as Lilac Girls , the characters are compelling and the author's research of the period was evident. There is a lot that happens go in this novel and it took some concentration to keep it all straight. There are some "hold your breath" moments towards the end, and I feared for what was to come. I was still invested to find out how each of their stories would play out.
Review posted to my blog 1/25/19
Thanks to the publisher and blog tour host for the opportunity to read/review.
Publishes on April 9,2019
Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
Random House Publishing
I received a digital copy of this ARC from NetGalley and Random House in exchange for an unbiased review.
I am thrilled to be reviewing this new novel by Martha Hall Kelly. I absolutely loved her book The Lilac Girls and have often recommended it to others. The Lilac Girls featured a real-life heroine, Caroline Ferriday, during WWII. In Lost Roses, the author’s second novel, the story takes us back to WWI and Caroline’s mother, Eliza Woolsey Mitchell, during WWI.
Again, Martha Hall Kelly delves deep into the history and people of the time period. She only scratched the surface it seems with her first novel, The Lilac Girls, revealing the remarkable story of Caroline Ferriday. It should come as no surprise that this remarkable woman was reared by a lineage of courageous women. Lost Roses is based on the research and history of Caroline’s mother, Eliza Woolsey Mitchell, a staunch abolitionist and philanthropist in NYC. She advocated and assisted the “White Russian” émigrés who were former Russian aristocrats who lost everything when the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia 1918.
This historical novel is well researched with many of the characters developed from the stories of actual people. Lost Roses occurs during 1914-1921 during WWI focused on life in United States, France and Russia as narrated by Eliza, Sofya and Varinka whose lives ultimately converge.
A forever friendship was formed at Brillantmont School in the Swiss Alps when Eliza and Sofya meet. The distance of Eliza living in NYC/Paris and Sofya living in Russia does not prove to be an obstacle in their loyalty to each other. Sofya delivers her son Maxwell unexpectedly while visiting Eliza just prior to the social uprising in Russia. Once settled back in Russia, the family ultimately hire Varinka to assist with the child care of baby Max. Varinka lives with her ailing Mamka in a questionable living situation after her father dies and leaves Taras in charge. Taras is soon reunited with an old cell mate, Vladi, from prison and become involved with looting and chaos of overthrowing the tzar.
The three women’s lives eventually collide in devastating ways. The remarkable strength and courage of women to manage difficult life circumstances is explored. The decisions and choices people make have lasting effects on everyone. There are many unsavory and despicable characters who allow the brave to shine. I don’t like spoilers so it is difficult to describe a novel so immensely rich in detail and history. Remarkably, the author is already working on her third novel about another generation of this family. The next prequel is reported to be about Eliza’s mother, Jane Newton Woolsey during the Civil War.