Midnight in St Petersburg

Midnight in St Petersburg

Book - 2013
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Fabergé jewels, the mysterious Rasputin and a rare, priceless violin are dangerous temptations for a young woman struggling to survive and love in revolutionary Russia

St. Petersburg, 1911: Inna Feldman has fled the pogroms of the south to take refuge with distant relatives in Russia's capital city. Welcomed into the flamboyant Leman family, she is apprenticed into their violin-making workshop.

With her good looks and talent, she feels instantly at home in their bohemian circle, but revolution is in the air, and as society begins to fracture, she is forced to choose between her heart and her head. She loves her brooding cousin, Yasha, but he is wild, destructive and devoted to revolution; Horace Wallick, an Englishman who works for Fabergé, is older and promises security and respectability. And, like many, she is drawn to the mysterious, charismatic figure who befriended her on the train and who is beginning to make a name for himself in the city: Rasputin.

As the revolution descends into anarchy and blood-letting, a commission to repair a priceless Stradivarius violin offers Inna a means ofescape. But which man will she choose to take with her? And is it already too late? Steeped in Vanora Bennett's love and deep knowledge of Russia, Midnight in St. Petersburg is an extraordinary novel about music, politics and the toll that revolution exacts on the human heart.

Publisher: London : HarperCollins, c2013.
ISBN: 9781443424943
Characteristics: 470 p. ; 23 cm.

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j
jazpur
Jan 22, 2016

This is a really interesting book about the refugees from the grim reality of the Russian Revolution in the years up to the outbreak of WWI The characters and their involvement in events give an insightful overview. I was fascinated to find in the raft of characters, British author Arthur Ransome of Swallows and Amazons fame with a walk on part. I knew he had lived in Russia while researching for his book Old Peter's Russian Tales.In this setting however, he is a journalist reporting on events a they unfolded for the British press(.He was considerably more than that I have since discovered when I looked further into his background. The second Mrs Ransome was Trotsky's secretary when he first met her).The hardships those fleeing from the atrocities of a Russian civil war endured in the harshness of winter,the anti- Semitism, the loves , lives and the music from the makers and repairers of the violins... The author has got the real flavour of the contrasts that existed in that vast country.The huge gap between the wealth and life-style of the few and the poverty of the masses, the subversive press...It is a story of immense courage , endurance but above all, hope for the future..

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