Tuesday, January 2, 2018

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

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: January 2, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4.5 Stars 

The unforgettable story of Alexander Pushkin’s beautiful wife, Natalya, a woman much admired at Court, and how she became reviled as the villain of St. Petersburg.

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.

With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story—the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court.

“A man says he will die for you. A woman is taught to lower her gaze and blush before hiding once more behind a silken fan.”

I love stories set in Russia, especially when they are based on real people in History. In this case, the story is about Russian Poet, Alexander Pushkin and his beautiful wife, Natalya. We are taken back in time to where they fell in love and then ultimately when it all ends in tragedy. I’ll admit, this was a whole lot more romantic then I could have ever hoped for. I swooned and fell in love right along with the characters. The writing was gorgeous—taking me from 2017, to the 19th century.

Natalya wants desperately to leave the confines of her very strict family. The moment she meets Alexander, or should I say the moment he saw her, everything changed. It was truly love at first sight. The intense relationship between Alexander and Natalya was one that was so pure and so beautiful, that it was inevitable. They would be together. This story warmed my heart, broke it, and then somehow was able to put the all back together.

The prologue tells us how it ends. For all you history buffs, you very well know exactly how everything ended. Knowing all this, it didn’t stop me from reading the story. And it sure didn’t stop me from being heartbroken and sad anyway. If you’re into historical fiction, with a heavy dose of swoony romance, this is the perfect book for you. Overall, I want to live in this time period. It seems like one that I would be happy with being in. But I have to settle for reading about it in books!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Amazon UK

About the Author:
Jennifer Laam is the author of THE SECRET DAUGHTER OF THE TSAR, THE TSARINA'S LEGACY, and the forthcoming THE LOST SEASON OF LOVE AND SNOW (January 2018), all from St. Martin's Griffin. Jennifer has lived in Los Angeles and the suburbs of Detroit, and has traveled in Russia, England, France, and Finland. When away from her computer, she enjoys fussing over animals, binge watching her favorite TV shows, planning cosplay for Comic Con, and line dancing. Jennifer currently lives in Northern California, where she works for her alma mater, University of the Pacific.


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