My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Lost Roses” is a prequel to a previously published “Lilac Girls” novel that I have not got a chance to read yet. New novel tells us a story of three characters: Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka. Three women that came from three different classes trying to survive the war and revolution.
An American socialite, Eliza Ferriday has a perfect life: two beautiful children, a husband that she adores. But after a tragic event, Eliza completely throws herself into a philanthropic work to help White Russian refugees to survive after fleeing their country, following Russia’s Imperial dynasty fall. Eliza has a connection to the Romanov family, her dear friend Sofya Streshnayva, whom she met in Paris many years prior. Feeling the guilt of being able to escape Russia right after Austria declared war on Serbia, Eliza looks for a way to rescue Sofya’s family. However, when the revolution begins to expand, Streshnayva family flees to their country estate from St. Petersburg in hope to find peace and protection. While in Malinov, Sofya meets and hires a village girl, Varinka, to look after her young son, Max. Unfortunately, shortly after their arrival, Sofya and her family are captured and imprisoned by Bolsheviks. As Streshnayva family kept imprisoned, their youngest member and heir Max is kept protected by family’s maid Varinka. Although once a loyal servant, Varinka grows to love Max as her own son and when the time comes to give him up, Varinka turns against the family. Driven by a desire to reunite with her son and husband and save her immediate family, Sofya escapes but only to learn of the collapse of the Romanov dynasty.
“Lost Rose” is a great book that describes the fall of Romanov’s Empire, it’s sad aftermath for the royal family, and takes the reader on a thrilling ride from St. Petersburgh to Paris to New York.
Thank you NetGalley and Ballantine Books Publisher for an advanced copy of the book and to Martha Hall kelly for an astonishing story.