My Review for Rising Stars Book Club_March 12 2019
I think I was born an aficionado of Historical Fiction. Certainly I don't remember a time before. Just before A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW was announced as our first read for this quarter, I had discovered, and determined to read THE WITCHES OF ST. PETERSBURG, a novel whose setting is almost immediately prior to the time period of A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW. Unfortunately for me, at the moment I only have access to the audio versions of either, so I hope to "re-read" both soon in text.I had not yet read author Amor Towles' debut novel, RULES OF CIVILITY, so of course that is now on my "I need to read this" list. I've entered the Goodreads Giveaway for the upcoming paperback version.
What struck me most is the author's depth of research. Not only did he take up an era nearly a century removed; but with the upheavals of that nation--from royal rule to Bolshevik Socialism to World War II to Stalin's Fascism to Communist oligarchy and Soviet dissolution to capitalism [I'm out of breath], factual records must be few and far between.The other memorable aspect is the Count's humility and integrity of character. Here is an individual who was raised as nobility, lived under the Tsar's rule, was wealthy, an estate owner--and then he loses everything but his life. Talk about the Crucible of Affliction. But he never gives up: he survives, then perseveres, and finally, in a different, even mutated, fashion, he thrives. Incredibly remarkable.