Friday, January 19, 2018

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

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.

Publication Date: January 2, 2018
St. Martin's Press
eBook & Paperback; 352 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

This is my second book taking place in Russia in as many months. It’s also another look at a well-known historical figure through the eyes of his wife. Alexander Pushkin is the name I have heard but I’m not familiar with this works. Sometimes when this happens I find myself going back and reading what has been previously been published, such is the case with Pushkin.

This book begins with a prologue, Pushkin has been involved in a duel defending the honour of his wife Natayla. As she reflects on what has happened she goes back in time and tells her story of how they got to this point, it is told from her point of view. What I found interesting right off the bat was she concern about her reputation rather than her husband, making my first impression of her less favourable. Though it did peek my curiosity as to the events leading up to this duel.

Jumping back to when she is only 16 she tells her story. Of course this is fictionalized but based on real events that took place. The author created the right environment to get a picture of the setting and feeling. This was a character driven story where everything revolves around Natayla, for some of the time I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her and all she endured, however there were times I wanted to reach in there and give her a shake and ask what’s was she thinking, in regards to various situations.

 A look at high society life in Russia while having to deal with advances from the Czar himself as well as dealing with family members was a lot for this young girl to handle. The author has painted a vivid picture of the times. This is my first time reading this author and I will definitely be adding her 2 previous novels to my Tbr list.

Thanks to HFVBT to be part of this tour in which I received a copy of this book in my change for honest review.

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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, all from St. Martin’s Griffin. She is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management.

Jennifer has lived in Los Angeles and the suburbs of Detroit, and currently resides in California’s Central Valley. When she is not busy writing or reading, Jennifer spends her time obsessing over cosplay, trying new vegetarian recipes, line dancing, and spoiling cats. She works for her alma mater, University of the Pacific.

For more information, please visit Jennifer Laam's website.

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Goodreads.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting Jennifer's blog tour! I'm so glad that you enjoyed The Lost Season of Love and Snow!

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