Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly Book Review
The lowdown from Goodreads
Publication Date April 4th, 2019
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 by Martha Hall Kelly Book Review
Fans of Lilac Girls rejoice. Martha Hall Kelly is back. This time she gives readers a detailed look at a Russian family during World War I.
Prequel or Stand-alone
First, Lost Roses can absolutely be read as a stand-alone. Although it is technically a prequel, I don’t think you’ll miss a beat if you read it before during or after Lilac Girls. In this novel, readers really get to know Eliza Ferriday. Eliza is the mother of Caroline, one of the main characters in Lilac Girls. I will say I loved getting the additional backstory on how Caroline’s character develops. Moments are all the more tender when you know someone’s past. So, read the books separately if you must, but I bet you’ll want to read them both!
Get Ready to Be Enveloped in Russian History
Whereas Lilac Girls taps deeply into my heart, Lost Roses grips my mind & takes me directly to Russia. Martha Hall Kelly has a way of writing that I feel as though I am in the book with these characters. With her thorough descriptions & well-researched writing, I envision all the places & characters so vividly.
After reading Lost Roses, I am desperate to read some additional historical fiction centering around World War I. There is so much to explore during this time. We meet Sofya, who is related to Russian royalty. Enter a fortune teller’s daughter, Varinka who is suffering through life in her own way. Their paths cross during the War & heartache, adversity & fear ensue. This is where Martha’s atmospheric writing shines.
Women Helping Women
I’m here to tell you I LOVE every single thing about women helping other women. Let it be known, that Sofya is a strong & formidable character. Sofya & her family cope with so many obstacles & challenges in Lost Roses. I suppose we never know what we will do until we are faced with the unthinkable. I love a book with bad-ass, strong & determined females & Lost Roses delivers.
I am Really Into This book! Lost Roses is a great novel, independent of its amazing predecessor, Lilac Girls. Lost Roses is a tale of triumph, friendship & fortitude.
You can check out my full review of Lilac Girls here.
Let’s connect with books! We have all of our reviews on Goodreads!
Really Into This a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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: https://bit.ly/2C8CXxa and on Pinterest.