Lost Roses is a remarkable new novel by Martha Hall Kelly, the bestselling author of the Lilac Girls, which introduced the real-life heroine, Caroline Ferriday. Also inspired by true events, it is set a generation earlier and features Caroline’s mother, Eliza.
Beginning in 1914 it tells of three young women – Eliza from New York, Sofya from St Petersburg and Varinka from the Russian village of Malinov. Their lives become entwined when Eliza, who met Sofya two years ago in Paris, is invited to visit her in St Petersburg. During her stay, however, Austria declares war on Serbia putting Russia’s imperial dynasty in peril. When the riots begin, Eliza is forced to flee back to America.
In the meantime, Sofya and her family escape the increasing violence in St Petersburg and find refuge in their country estate in Malinov. Dissent is already brewing in the provinces too and they find themselves short of domestic help. When they hire the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka, they unwittingly invite peril into their home.
Back in New York, Eliza is organising aid for those White Russian families who have escaped the revolution. Unable to contact Sofya and her family, she fears for their lives. Will she ever be reunited with her best friend?
This well-researched historical novel relates the story of three invincible women during a time of turmoil and uncertainty.
It also vividly portrays an arrogant, elite society that ill treats its fellows so badly that it leads to revolution. In turn the elite are annihilated or forced to flee. Ironically, the fortunate few, who do reach safety, find themselves at the mercy of others, who are equally pretentious and hostile. Those, who are prepared to help the refugees, are also ostracised by their fellow citizens.
Despite degradation and hardship, however, love, loyalty and friendship triumph in the end.
A must read for 2019!
Lost Roses is available in paperback, hardback, e-book and audiobook
About Martha Hall Kelly
Martha Hall Kelly grew up in Massachusetts and now splits her time between Connecticut, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard where she spends her days filling legal pads with stories and reading World War II books. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years and raised three splendid children, while researching and writing Lilac Girls, her first novel. She holds a degree in Journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and a Master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School.