Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Review: The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam

Title: The Lost Season of Love and Snow
Author: Jennifer Laam 
Format: Paperback
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: January 2, 2018 (Today!)
Source: Publisher

What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "At the age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. But while she finds joy in French translations and a history of Russian poetry, her family is more concerned with her marriage prospects. It is only fitting that during the Christmas of 1828 at her first public ball in her hometown of Moscow she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin.

Enchanted at first sight, Natalya is already a devoted reader of Alexander’s serialized novel in verse, Evgeny Onegin. The most recently published chapter ends in a duel, and she is dying to learn what happens next. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya hopes to see him again as soon as possible.

What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death."

My Two Cents:

"The Lost Season of Love and Snow" is the story of Natalya, the wife of famous Russian writer Alexander Pushkin. While I have not read anything by Pushkin (after reading this book, I might need to change that), I was familiar with some of the details of his life to include his untimely end. I was not familiar with his wife and the impact that she had on his life so I was looking forward to hearing her side of the story through this book and I was certainly not disappointed!

Come to find out, Natalya is yet another example of a woman who was maligned by those who either felt wronged by her or perhaps were jealous of her. Alexander was a hot commodity already by the time Natalya meets him. He was already published and very well-known throughout Russia when he falls for Natalya. She very quickly becomes the envy of Russia as she takes Alexander off the market. Their romance was anything but clear cut. Alexander has his dalliances and Natalya is relentlessly pursued by a man who could upend the Pushkin family's lives with one move: the Czar of Imperial Russia. I loved having a front row seat for all of this drama.

I have loved this author's other books. I am fascinated with Russia and I love the way that Laam has brought the time periods that she has chosen to write about to life. She does a great job of bringing Natalya and Alexander to life. I loved how she was able to create their movements in and out of Russian high society as they seem to follow Alexander's whims from wanting to be a man about town to acting (and sometimes not acting!) the part of the struggling artist.

Overall, this was a good read and I am looking forward to reading more by Laam in the future!



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