December 24, 2019
Celebrating a Bookish Hanukkah With Our Jewish Friends: Third Candle–Trifecta
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
I’m linking up today and for the next few days with Davida at The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog (information on the meme link up here) to celebrate a bookish Hanukkah with our Jewish friends. #eightcandlebooktag Join us! (find my first candle here, find my second candle here)
Happy Hanukkah to my friends, followers, and book buddies who are celebrating!
Third Candle: Trifecta
A book where there is either a love (or hate) triangle, or with three different points of view, or something else related to the number three.
The following is my review of Lost Roses that was published earlier on this blog:
Fans of Lilac Girls will be interested in the prequel, Lost Roses, as it shares the story of Caroline Ferriday’s mother, Eliza. The story is told from three perspectives: Eliza Ferriday, a New York socialite; Sofya, a Russian aristocrat and cousin to the Romanovs; and Varinka, a Russian peasant and fortune teller’s daughter. The story begins in 1914 when Sofya comes to the U.S. to visit her best friend, Eliza. Later when Eliza accompanies Sofya back to St. Petersburg, they find Russia on the brink of revolution. Unsettled by the conflict, Eliza escapes back to the U.S. Because her heart is with the Russian women, she creates a charity to help support women and children as they flee Russia. After some time when she hasn’t heard from Sofya, she becomes deeply concerned. Meanwhile in Russia, Sofya has hired a peasant girl, Varinka, to help with the household tasks but this decision brings additional danger. In a dramatic and tense conclusion, Eliza travels to Paris in search of Sofya while Sofya risks everything in Paris to find Varinka.
This prequel can be read as a stand-alone.
Characters. As we learn of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka, we experience life from three extremely different perspectives. The most obvious difference is that Eliza and Sofya come from privilege while Varinka is a peasant. Eliza and Sofya often use their privilege to care for others while Varinka is focused on survival. All three are strong and independent and willing to take risks to ensure their survival.
Writing. Martha Hall Kelly writes an engaging and well-researched story filled with fascinating characters, relevant historical details, danger, and vivid setting descriptions that describe Russia before the Revolution and the devastation after. As the author weaves together the stories of three interesting and different women, she takes us on a journey through privilege and poverty, beauty and violence, trust and betrayal, love and sacrifice, friendship and loss, and hope and despair. Through the reading of this story, I was completely transported to a different time and place. I felt the beginning was a slow start (some other reviewers have not noted this) and I reminded myself to trust the author and where she would take me. The latter half of the book moves at a fast and engaging pace and the conclusion is a page-turner. Overall, Lost Roses is well written and structured.
Themes. Important themes include using our privilege to help others, using our life to make a difference in the world, loyalty, friendship, family, love, loss, taking risks, determination, charity, privilege/poverty, survival, and fortitude. Because of strong themes, this would make an excellent book club selection. It would be particularly interesting to discuss Varinka’s options and choices.
Recommended. I’m highly recommending Lost Roses for fans of well written historical fiction, for readers of Lilac Girls, and for those who appreciate stories of determined and strong women who are difference makers. If you read Lilac Girls and found parts of it difficult and disturbing, you will want to know that Lost Roses is a gentler read. It can also be read as a stand-alone. In Lost Roses, we find out that Caroline Ferriday (Lilac Girls) had an activist mother that modeled compassion and helped others. Furthermore, it’s exciting that the author is working on another prequel …. a prequel to Lost Roses! I’m sure we’ll learn that women pass down these traits in families from generation to generation. I encourage you to place Lost Roses on your TBR!
My Rating: 5 stars
Meet the Author, Martha Hall Kelly
Martha is a native New Englander who lives in Connecticut and Martha’s Vineyard. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years, raised three wonderful children who are now mostly out of the nest and Lilac Girls is her first novel. She has been hard at work on the prequel to Lilac Girls, Lost Roses, which features Caroline’s mother Eliza Ferriday and her fight to save a group of Russian women, former aristocrats who lost everything in the Russian Revolution. Lost Roses publishes April 9, 2019. You’ll find more info about both books on Martha’s website: http://www.marthahallkelly.com and on Pinterest.
Do you like stories told from multiple perspectives?
I have finished my Fall TBR!
(just in time to begin my Winter TBR!)
Happy Reading Book Buddies!
“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes
“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text
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