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Lost Roses: A Novel

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The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline's mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I. It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many ti The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline's mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I. It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov's. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia's Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya's letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend. From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre's who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history.


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The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline's mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I. It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many ti The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline's mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I. It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov's. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia's Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya's letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend. From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre's who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history.

30 review for Lost Roses: A Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Angela M

    As difficult as much of it was to read, I loved Martha Hall Kelly’s first novel, Lilac Girls, a heartbreaking story of the horrific things that happened at Ravensbrück, a concentration camp during WWII where unspeakable medical experiments were conducted on women. But is not without hope and it is filled with the strength of women who make a difference. Making it more meaningful, is that it is based on the life of Caroline Ferriday, a woman who gave so much of herself to aid women who survived R As difficult as much of it was to read, I loved Martha Hall Kelly’s first novel, Lilac Girls, a heartbreaking story of the horrific things that happened at Ravensbrück, a concentration camp during WWII where unspeakable medical experiments were conducted on women. But is not without hope and it is filled with the strength of women who make a difference. Making it more meaningful, is that it is based on the life of Caroline Ferriday, a woman who gave so much of herself to aid women who survived Ravensbrück. In this prequel to that book, Martha Hall Kelly portrays the life of Eliza Ferriday, Caroline’s mother and I could see how much Eliza had inspired her daughter. While I can’t say that this one gripped me as much as Lilac Girls, perhaps because of the horrors of the Holocaust, it is in its own right a fantastic work of historical fiction, that also is filled with hope and women who made a difference in other women’s lives and I loved everything about it. The story is told with narratives of three women, Eliza , from an established, moneyed family in New York, Sofya, from a well to do family related to the Tsar in revolutionary Russia and Varinka, a poverty stricken girl from the Russian country side. From WW I and the Russian Revolution, from New York, to Paris to cities in Russia, Martha Hall Kelly takes us on a journey back in time from 1914-1921 and to the places where these women’s lives cross. It is clear from her notes on her research and her travel that this is a well researched work of historical fiction. I love that she tells us who some of the characters were modeled on, reminding us that this is a work of fiction, yet it reflects so much about the time and places she takes us to. It is also a story loss, loss of loved ones, loss of home, but a story of friendship, of family and of the generosity and goodnesses of women who care. I can hardly wait for her next book, which will take us to the time of the Civil War with Caroline’s great- grandmother’s story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I am ecstatic to tell you about one of my most-anticipated reads this year! 🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹 Lilac Girls is one of my favorite historical fiction reads, and HF is my favorite genre. In Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly gave us Caroline Ferriday as a real life heroine of her time during World War II. Lost Roses is Caroline’s mother’s story, along with two other women affected by World War I. In 1914, Germany is gaining power and war is possibly on the horizon. Eliza Ferriday travels to St. Petersburg, Russ I am ecstatic to tell you about one of my most-anticipated reads this year! 🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹 🌹 Lilac Girls is one of my favorite historical fiction reads, and HF is my favorite genre. In Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly gave us Caroline Ferriday as a real life heroine of her time during World War II. Lost Roses is Caroline’s mother’s story, along with two other women affected by World War I. In 1914, Germany is gaining power and war is possibly on the horizon. Eliza Ferriday travels to St. Petersburg, Russia with Sofya Streshnayva, a Romanov cousin. Eliza and Sofya’s close friendship is formed years prior while the pair lived in Paris. While Eliza’s in Russia, Austria declares war on Serbia, and Russia’s tsar is likely to fall. She flees safely to the United States but wishes she could have brought Sofya and her family with her. Sofya’s family must flee the city to the family’s country manor because a revolution is on the brink. They hire Varinka, a young peasant girl, to serve in their household, but she brings danger along with her. Across the world, Eliza is doing everything she can to help Russians escape the revolution, when suddenly she stops hearing from Sofya. The book travels between the US, St. Petersburg, and Paris, and illuminates the places and their people during this time of strife, violence, and uncertainty. Martha Hall Kelly’s storytelling is just as captivating and alluring as it was with Lilac Girls. Eliza Ferriday is a strong, formidable character, and Sofya and Varinka’s stories will break your heart for different reasons. There was a poignant moment when Sofya looked down at her young son Max after seeing a starving peasant baby, and she reflected on Max’s luck of being born to her into her family of wealth. The tables are turned on Sofya and her family, and I think about that all the time- the luck one has to be born in whatever country- one that has freedoms, or one that is filled with every day war and danger. Lost Roses is the glorious story of the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka. Even though Eliza and Sofya are born privileged, they never lose sight of how they can help others, and there is unequivocal beauty in that and honesty in how Kelly depicts it. This is the perfect book to get lost in. The storytelling grabs you and won’t let go. Thanks to Suzy Approved Book Tours, the author, and publisher for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews are also available on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  3. 4 out of 5

    Holly B

    This novel is a prequel to  The Lilac Girls and features the real life heroine Caroline Ferriday. The world is in turmoil and edging toward World War One. We learn about Caroline's mother, Eliza and two other women that are thrown into the intense situations they faced in 1914. Eliza is the connection between the two novels - The Lilac Girls and Lost Roses , but this one could easily be read as stand-alone. The story follows the lives of three women. Eliza who is a socialite and lives in Manha This novel is a prequel to  The Lilac Girls and features the real life heroine Caroline Ferriday. The world is in turmoil and edging toward World War One. We learn about Caroline's mother, Eliza and two other women that are thrown into the intense situations they faced in 1914. Eliza is the connection between the two novels - The Lilac Girls and Lost Roses , but this one could easily be read as stand-alone. The story follows the lives of three women. Eliza who is a socialite and lives in Manhattan. Her friend Sofya Streshnayva,  is a cousin of the Romanov's, the reigning dynasty in Russia. While visiting her in St. Petersburg, Eliza becomes aware  that war is imminent and fears for her friend Sofya, who seems unaware of the danger that could come. When war is declared, Eliza heads back home to America. Varinka Kozlov is a Russian girl, who the Romanov family hire to help in their household. She is the daughter of a well-known fortune-teller and her situation is dire.  I tried to imagine the helplessness that she felt when she had to make some dangerous decisions. Varinka and her mom are under the thumb of some dangerous men that are involved in the local uprisings. Lets just say, she has a lot going on. and makes some decisions that will impact all of these women. A story of three strong, determined women and their quest for survival. While this story is not as fast-paced as Lilac Girls , the characters are compelling and the author's research of the period was evident. There is a lot that happens in this novel and it took some concentration to keep it all straight. There are some "hold your breath" moments towards the end, and  I feared for what was to come. I was still invested to find out how each of their stories would play out. Review posted to my blog 1/25/19 Thanks to the publisher and blog tour host for the opportunity to read/review. Publishes on April 9,2019

  4. 4 out of 5

    MarilynW

    Lost Roses (Lilac Girls #2) by Martha Hall Kelly (Author), Kathleen Gati (Narrator), Tavia Gilbert (Narrator), Karissa Vacker (Narrator), Catherine Taber (Narrator) Lost Roses is a backwards sequel to Lilac Girls. The real life Caroline Ferriday was featured in Lilac Girls, and In Lost Roses, her mother, Eliza Ferriday, is featured. We can see where Caroline got her drive to help others, as Eliza Ferriday works to help White Russian families find safety, homes, and work, as they escape the revolu Lost Roses (Lilac Girls #2) by Martha Hall Kelly (Author), Kathleen Gati (Narrator), Tavia Gilbert (Narrator), Karissa Vacker (Narrator), Catherine Taber (Narrator) Lost Roses is a backwards sequel to Lilac Girls. The real life Caroline Ferriday was featured in Lilac Girls, and In Lost Roses, her mother, Eliza Ferriday, is featured. We can see where Caroline got her drive to help others, as Eliza Ferriday works to help White Russian families find safety, homes, and work, as they escape the revolution in Russia.  This story shows us three sides of the story. There is New York socialite, Eliza, and her friendship with fictional Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov's. As the revolution takes hold, Eliza loses contact with Sofya and does what she can to find her. We see things from the viewpoint of Sofya, as her world falls apart and she loses everything, in the most violent and devastating ways.  Then there is Varinka, a peasant girl that Sofya hires to help with her two year old son, Max. Varinka's life is one of extreme poverty, hardship, and abuse and I feel for her although she is not trustworthy or likeable. The poor girl has so much against her yet she is also willing to make unwise decisions that hurt not just herself but others. Still her options are almost limited to none and mostly she is just trying to survive and enjoy things that have never been at her disposal before.  Each woman is strong in their own way. The plight of escapees of the revolution taking more than a year to make it to safety, if they live through the trip, is terrifying. The loss of lives on all sides, the hopelessness of the peasants who have been starved and worked to death, there is no winner in this war when oppression is going to continue no matter who wins the war. This is a beautiful but terrifying story made worse by the fact that historical events are true.  Published April 9th 2019

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This is the prequel to Lilac Girls. If you loved that one, you will love this one. If you haven’t read either and you adore Europe, history, war and strong females with beloved friendships that are threatened because of harsh and challenging times, both these stories deliver. Well done, Hall Kelly. I look forward to the prequel to the prequel that you are working on next! 5⭐️

  6. 4 out of 5

    Berit☀️✨

    A beautiful story about the ugly truth of war. A tale full of courage, determination, strength, compassion, Hope, beauty, and love! Martha Hall Kelly has written A compelling book that is simultaneously elegant and brutal... this is the kinder gentler cousin of “The Lilac Girls” A book I read and liked, but if I’m being honest I liked this book a bit more... I think for me all the characters in this book were more relatable, and I felt compassion for all of them... really the only common thread A beautiful story about the ugly truth of war. A tale full of courage, determination, strength, compassion, Hope, beauty, and love! Martha Hall Kelly has written A compelling book that is simultaneously elegant and brutal... this is the kinder gentler cousin of “The Lilac Girls” A book I read and liked, but if I’m being honest I liked this book a bit more... I think for me all the characters in this book were more relatable, and I felt compassion for all of them... really the only common thread between this book and the previous is the character of Caroline Ferriday, a character I liked in the first book but I adored even more in this one... so I wouldn’t necessarily call this a prequel, and both books can definitely be read as standalones... although I’m guessing after you’ve read one you will want to read the other they’re both exquisitely told historical fiction novels full of strong women living through extraordinary circumstances! “Lost Roses” is the story of three remarkable women Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka... The book is set during WWI and mainly focuses on the atrocities in Russia... both Sofya and Varinka are Russians, although they come from very different backgrounds and social classes... Eliza is an American, she is from a privileged background, she is also the mother of Caroline of “The Lilac Girls”... Eliza and Sofya became friends while at boarding school in Switzerland, Sofya is related to the Romanoffs family...Varinka was not born into privilege as these other ladies were she came to know Sofya when she went to work for the family... three women from three very different backgrounds and yet all their lives are adversely impacted by war... One of my biggest takeaways from this book was how untouched America really has been by war... yes, many lives were lost and goods were rationed, but I think that is very different from The many more lives lost, the property damage, the horror of living through war on your soil, not to mention bandits taking over your family home... some of the situations that Sofya found her self in were so harrowing... her fortitude and determination were so admirable, I tried to put myself in her situation and I just don’t know if I would have had the strength to do what she did...Varinka really skated the line of right and wrong throughout this book, I felt so much for her because I’m not sure what choices she had... Eliza was strong and compassionate and I admired her loyalty and altruism... such a remarkable story that I feel will resonate with everybody! This really was historical fiction at its finest, this book made me feel as though I was right there with these ladies during WWI, I felt so much for each and everyone of them and bonus I learned some things along the way! Absolutely recommend! 🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head This song always reminded me of how we are all more alike than different, it also reminds me of the Cold War and Russia... … In Europe and America there's a growing feeling of hysteria. Conditioned to respond to all the threats In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets. MIster Krushchev said, "We will bury you." I don't subscribe to this point of view. It'd be such an ignorant thing to do If the Russians love their children too. How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer's deadly toy? There is no monopoly on common sense On either side of the political fence. We share the same biology, regardless of ideology. Believe me when I say to you, I hope the Russians love their children too … There is no historical precedent To put the words in the mouth of the president? There's no such thing as a winnable war, It's a… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wHylQRV... *** many thanks to Random House Valentine for my copy of this book ***

  7. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    4 stars for this historical fiction book. It is a prequel to Lilac Girls and tells the story of Caroline Ferriday's mother, Eliza. The book takes place from 1914 to 1920, The book is divided into chapters titled with the 3 main characters, Eliza, Sofya and Varinka. Sofya is a cousin to the Tsarina and a member of the Russian aristocracy in 1914. Varinka is a peasant girl who goes to work as a nanny to Maxwell, Sofya's son. Eliza is a friend of Sofya's family and lives in New York and Connecticu 4 stars for this historical fiction book. It is a prequel to Lilac Girls and tells the story of Caroline Ferriday's mother, Eliza. The book takes place from 1914 to 1920, The book is divided into chapters titled with the 3 main characters, Eliza, Sofya and Varinka. Sofya is a cousin to the Tsarina and a member of the Russian aristocracy in 1914. Varinka is a peasant girl who goes to work as a nanny to Maxwell, Sofya's son. Eliza is a friend of Sofya's family and lives in New York and Connecticut. The Russian entrance into WWI and subsequent revolution change Sofya's and Varinka's life forever. I enjoyed this book and found it to be an accurate portrayal of life in Russia, France and the US during this period. My wife read this book before me and was appalled at the way the Russian aristocracy treated the peasants. She did not like it as much as Lilac Girls. But I found it to be an honest portrait of the corruption and extravagant lifestyle that led to the revolution. Some quotes: "How is the tsar helping?" I shrugged. "He believes if he supports the rich, prosperity will trickle down to the people." Eliza meeting an actor: "Had he marinated himself in cologne?" "When I went back to the house I found it in Agnessa's ruined townhouse. Kept it alive since I left Russia." Luba stroked a petal. "Poor lost roses. Liked us, I suppose." Thanks to Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine Books for sending me this eARC through NetGalley. #LostRoses #NetGalley

  8. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I found Lilac Girls interesting but I was not as ecstatic as others when singing its praises. But what I did appreciate was the research that Kelly did so I was curious to read Lost Roses. This book follows Eliza Ferriday, Caroline’s mother, as she travels with Sofya Streshnayva, a family friend, to St Petersburg in 1914, just before WWI. Once again, Kelly uses multiple voices to tell the story. This juxtaposition works well, for example, when Eliza is able to see the Russian discontent while th I found Lilac Girls interesting but I was not as ecstatic as others when singing its praises. But what I did appreciate was the research that Kelly did so I was curious to read Lost Roses. This book follows Eliza Ferriday, Caroline’s mother, as she travels with Sofya Streshnayva, a family friend, to St Petersburg in 1914, just before WWI. Once again, Kelly uses multiple voices to tell the story. This juxtaposition works well, for example, when Eliza is able to see the Russian discontent while the Stresnayvas “adopted a curious denial of the flames rising around them”. While we all know the story of the Tsar and his family’s captivity, Lost Roses explores the fate of the next tier of aristocracy and how they fared during the revolution. She perfectly captures the anarchy, the treatment of the “former people”. I appreciated Kelly’s ability to weave historical facts into her storytelling. As with Lilac Girls, the Ferriday story is the weakest of the bunch. Other than covering the bigotry of the upper classes, there wasn’t much tension. Eliza was a true friend to the Russian emigres but her story lacked the drama of what was transpiring in Mother Russia and later in Paris. Sofya and Varinka are both fictional, but it is their characters that interested me most. Varinka, especially, showed the moral dilemmas facing ordinary Russians during the upheaval. Anyone who enjoyed Lilac Girls will definitely appreciate Lost Roses. I will be looking forward to Kelly’s next book, which travels even further back in time to the family during Civil War days. My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    The prequel to Lilac Girls, this historical novel features Caroline Ferriday’s mother, Eliza, during WWI and the Russian Revolution. Eliza is one narrator, her aristocratic Russian friend, Sofya, is another and finally Varinka tells her side of the story as a Russian peasant. The lives of these indefatigable women cross in ways that none of them could have imagined prior to the world changing events of their time. There is opulence juxtaposed with abject poverty. There is elation set side by sid The prequel to Lilac Girls, this historical novel features Caroline Ferriday’s mother, Eliza, during WWI and the Russian Revolution. Eliza is one narrator, her aristocratic Russian friend, Sofya, is another and finally Varinka tells her side of the story as a Russian peasant. The lives of these indefatigable women cross in ways that none of them could have imagined prior to the world changing events of their time. There is opulence juxtaposed with abject poverty. There is elation set side by side with deep despair and all three women suffer tremendously. Eliza, Sofya and Varinka are distinctly different people from different backgrounds but, oddly, their voices sound the same. The plight of the White Russian émigrés has particular poignancy given the immigration issues of today. Moving from the East Coast of the USA to Russia and Paris, this is a plot driven novel that speeds along and reads just as quickly. Lost Roses is a treat for fans of Lilac Girls.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I was very excited to get my hands on this due to all the high praise of the author's previous work, Lilac Girls. I had not read that book (as I had genre fatigue at the time), but I jumped at this one because I felt like WWI fiction isn't as prevalent and I spent a great deal of time studying Russian history in college. The story is told in what is now a familiar format from three different perspectives. An American socialite, Eliza, a cousin to the Tsar, Sofya, and a poor villager, Varinka. I I was very excited to get my hands on this due to all the high praise of the author's previous work, Lilac Girls. I had not read that book (as I had genre fatigue at the time), but I jumped at this one because I felt like WWI fiction isn't as prevalent and I spent a great deal of time studying Russian history in college. The story is told in what is now a familiar format from three different perspectives. An American socialite, Eliza, a cousin to the Tsar, Sofya, and a poor villager, Varinka. I went back and forth a lot with these characters, but ended up being confused the most by Varinka. The Good - This was a very well researched book, where I felt it almost got too bogged down in detail at times, but since I'm a huge history nerd that didn't bother me. What I liked the most was that these were voices we don't hear from a lot. I think this era of history is even more "important" than the 30's and 40's because this is what sets the stage for all that is to come. So often, (in my opinion), this era is overlooked and I think it's a shame because there are so many wonderful stories to be told. What didn't work for me - I went back and forth on these characters a lot. Likeability isn't an issue, it was more believe-ability. I felt some of Eliza's story was rushed in parts (most likely to try and keep the story moving since it already clocked in over 400 pages). I've seen some complaints about Sofya and her family caring more about parties and things than the plight of their people, but to me that was historically correct. It's hard NOT to want to yell at them because they are so blind to the suffering of their people, but when you're sheltered from that your whole life, how can it be expected of them to think differently? (Although, admittedly I felt it troubling as well.). Also, Sofya's trek across wartime Europe with a cart and a horse was a little farfetched. Especially, given her upbringing. Varinka is the one that puzzled me the most. I had difficulty juxtaposing her character before Max and after Max. There were plenty of opportunities for that right to be wronged and her stubbornness seemed odd to me, particularly as she moved to Paris. Overall, this was a good book, but not anything I would yell from the roof tops about - and that's okay. Many, many others loved it and I'm sure there will be many more! Thanks to Netgalley, Martha Hall Kelly and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for the opportunity to read and provide an honest review of this book. Review Date: 4/2/19 Publication Date: 4/9/19

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    Lost Roses is the second book of the Lilac Girls series, but chronologically is the prequel to Martha Hall Kelly’s The Lilac Girls, a story about the lives of three women during World War II. The connecting thread between these two stories is Eliza Ferriday, a socialite who has travelled to both Paris and St. Petersburg, regularly visiting her close friend Sofya Streshnayva, cousin of the Romanov family. And then the looming troubles and rumours of war erupt into war, making travel Lost Roses is the second book of the Lilac Girls series, but chronologically is the prequel to Martha Hall Kelly’s The Lilac Girls, a story about the lives of three women during World War II. The connecting thread between these two stories is Eliza Ferriday, a socialite who has travelled to both Paris and St. Petersburg, regularly visiting her close friend Sofya Streshnayva, cousin of the Romanov family. And then the looming troubles and rumours of war erupt into war, making travel there inadvisable, to say the least. In Lost Roses, Eliza’s daughter, Caroline Ferriday, is one of the three women who are the main focus. During her research for Lost Roses the author came across articles and photos about Eliza Ferriday’s efforts to help women who had been forced to leave their former homes, which led to her journey to bring Eliza’s story, and the era along with the crumbling of the Russian tsar’s empire, to life. While this was engaging from the start, it does alternate through the perspectives of the various characters making it a bit more of a challenge to juggle the diverse points of view, as well as the various changes in locations, but I still thought about this story even when I wasn’t reading it and wondered how these women would fare in the end. When I wasn’t reading it, I was looking up Eliza’s history, photographs of the house they lived in and various photographs of her, and some of the women she helped. A lovely and impressive follow-up to Lilac Girls , I’m looking forward to Martha Hall Kelly’s prequel to Lost Roses which is linked through Eliza’s mother, Caroline Carson Woolsey Mitchell, and her sister, Georgeanna, and takes place during the Civil War. I alternated reading a paperback copy that was sent to me by my Book Angel, and a kindle format that arrived from my public library the day I began reading this. Many thanks to both the Public Library and the many Librarians who manage, organize and keep it running, and to my Book Angel, as well!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    Turbulent times bring about much upheaval, destroying lives, making people make choices, decisions, that are often life threatening, and ultimately move in directions they never thought possible. If you have read The Lilac Girls, you already have been introduced to Caroline Ferriday. In this book, Lost Roses, we take a step back in history and meet Caroline's mother, Eliza. The story focuses on three women, Eliza Ferriday, a New York socialite, Sofya Streshnayva, a relation of the Tsar and a clos Turbulent times bring about much upheaval, destroying lives, making people make choices, decisions, that are often life threatening, and ultimately move in directions they never thought possible. If you have read The Lilac Girls, you already have been introduced to Caroline Ferriday. In this book, Lost Roses, we take a step back in history and meet Caroline's mother, Eliza. The story focuses on three women, Eliza Ferriday, a New York socialite, Sofya Streshnayva, a relation of the Tsar and a close friend of Eliza's, and Varinka Kozlov, a girl hired by the Streshnayva family to help in the household. It is 1914 and the world is teetering on the brink of war. Tensions are high, people are starving, and in Russia, upheaval is on the horizon as the Tsar is about to be overthrown and life for those associated or related to the royals is not only changing dramatically but also many are finding that their lives are ending. Sofya and Varinka are in peril. Sofya and her family, because of their proximity to royalty and Varinka, daughter of a well known fortune teller, because she and her mother are under the thumb of two evil revolutionaries are in danger. They all find themselves caught up in the turmoil and unrest that threatens their very lives. Meanwhile, in America, Eliza worries and does all she can to secure the safety of Sofya, knowing her friend and family is in a grave situation. Eliza Ferriday was a true friend. She it is who we come to know not only as a friend but also as a compassionate woman who so understood the plight of her dearest friend, but also that of those who were able to escape and come to America, particularly to Southampton New York. She did all she could to find her friend but she also did all within her power to aid those Russians so fallen from their previous status, to find jobs and new lives here in this country. The author weaves a story of danger, a story of friendship, of love, done so well that the characters find their way into you heart and mind. She makes them all come alive, giving authenticity to their feelings, their struggles, and their will to live. This is a story of wealth, a story of a fall from that pedestal that many had experienced before the Communists came to power. It is also a brief look into the lives of the peasants living under the Tsar and how their lives were bitter and oppressive. Russia was ripe for revolution, and when it came, no one living there was ever the same. As always, it is so wonderful to learn of things that are unknown in our history. Ironically, my husband's family owned homes in Southampton not too far away from the places mentioned in this book. It is always so interesting and riveting when one makes that connection to a place they once lived. I highly recommend this book to all of those who love history and superior story telling. Thank you to Martha Hall Kelly, Ballantine Books, and NetGalley for forwarding this exquisite story to me. This book is due to be published on April 9, 2019 You can also see my review: http://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpress...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aga Durka

    When I found out that a prequel to Lilac Girls is coming out, I was very excited and I could not wait to get my hands on it. And, oh boy, I am so glad I got a chance to read it early, before the publish date. Lost Roses was as good as the author’s first book. I enjoyed it so much that I read it in one day. I simply could not put it down. I love historical fiction, and any book about the Romanov family will make my heart skip, but this one made my hear skip and flutter all over the place. Martha When I found out that a prequel to Lilac Girls is coming out, I was very excited and I could not wait to get my hands on it. And, oh boy, I am so glad I got a chance to read it early, before the publish date. Lost Roses was as good as the author’s first book. I enjoyed it so much that I read it in one day. I simply could not put it down. I love historical fiction, and any book about the Romanov family will make my heart skip, but this one made my hear skip and flutter all over the place. Martha Hall Kelly’s writing is exquisite. It sucked me in from first pages, and I just could not get enough of the characters, the beautiful descriptions, and the emotions it made me feel while reading this book. Lost Roses is a story of three women from three different worlds. Eliza, an American, is best friends with Sofya, a Russian aristocracy, family to the last Romanov tsar. Verinka is a Russian peasant girl living in poverty during Russian Revolution. These three women so different from each other have more in common than we could ever imagine. The author masterfully intertwines their lives together and tells a story that will keep the reader on his/her toes until the end. There was not one dull moment in this beautiful story and I highly recommend this book to all the historical fiction genre lovers. Thank you NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group/Ballantine Books, and the author, Martha Hall Kelly, for giving me an opportunity to read and review this wonderful book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bkwmlee

    I am probably one of the few people left on this planet who has not yet read Lilac Girls , Martha Hall Kelly’s debut novel about real life heroine Caroline Ferriday during World War II. The book has actually been on my TBR for quite some time and I even own a copy of it, but unfortunately, I have struggled to find the time to read it (which hopefully will be rectified soon). Despite not having read Lilac Girls , I was still excited to have received an ARC of Kelly’s second novel Lost Ro I am probably one of the few people left on this planet who has not yet read Lilac Girls , Martha Hall Kelly’s debut novel about real life heroine Caroline Ferriday during World War II. The book has actually been on my TBR for quite some time and I even own a copy of it, but unfortunately, I have struggled to find the time to read it (which hopefully will be rectified soon). Despite not having read Lilac Girls , I was still excited to have received an ARC of Kelly’s second novel Lost Roses , which is the prequel to Lilac Girls and tells the story of Caroline’s mother Eliza Ferriday. This time around, the story is set against the backdrop of World War I, though technically, the Great War only plays a peripheral role, as most of the story takes place in Russia, with a narrative revolving around the events leading up to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918 – a peasant uprising that eventually overthrew the imperial dynasty and ended the rule of the Romanov family. Central to the story is Sofya Streshnayva, cousin to the tsar and also Eliza’s best friend, who is forced to flee with her family to their country estate in the woods when war erupts and things become too dangerous for the ruling class. While staying at the estate, the family hires a young peasant girl, Varinka – the daughter of the local fortune teller -- to help in the kitchen and also take care of Sofya’s newborn son Max. Unbeknownst to them, Varinka brings with her tremendous danger that will end up changing the family’s lives forever. Meanwhile, after having returned to her hometown of New York, Eliza endures a tragedy of her own, but through it all, she continues to do her part in helping the Russian immigrants who successfully fled from the revolution to America, while at the same time, she continues to hold out hope that her friend Sofya and her family will also be able to escape the turmoil wrought by revolution as well as the vestiges of war. With the story narrated mostly from the alternating perspectives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka, each woman lends a distinctive voice to this captivating tale of endurance and survival during a turbulent period in history. Going into this book, I had very limited knowledge about the Bolshevik Revolution and the resulting turmoil in Russia at that time, so I definitely appreciated the tremendous research that the author Martha Hall Kelly did in order to bring that historical event and all the other ones to life. The storytelling here was top-notch, as I truly did feel like I was being transported back to that time and place, living through the harrowing circumstances that Sofya and her family faced. The portrayal of the horrors and violence suffered by those caught up in the uprising felt so real that I actually felt a chill run through me while I was reading those particular scenes. Sofya was the type of character that I couldn’t help but root for, with everything she goes through and still finding the will to survive for her son’s sake, an admirable trait many of us with children can relate to. With Varinka, I felt her inner moral struggle and though I pitied the situation she was placed in, I still couldn’t help being upset over the role she played in the events that transpired. As for Eliza, I actually felt that her story was the least interesting of the three, though I did love her fierce personality and compassionate spirit. I love stories with strong female protagonists and this book didn’t give us just one, but several indomitable women (and I include not just the above-mentioned 3 women, but also Luba, Caroline, Mamka, Eliza’s mother Carry, etc.) whose courage, determination, and tenacity amongst so much destruction and adversity made this such an unforgettable story for me. This is historical fiction at its finest: well-researched with the historical events incorporated seamlessly, plus a compelling story as well as wonderfully developed characters – a balance that is not easy to achieve in books like this one where it is necessary to strive for authenticity historically while still maintaining great storytelling. Emotionally, this story resonated with me deeply, especially with its portrayal of family, love, hope, friendship, and most significantly, resilience. The one warning I would give is that the descriptions of the atrocities of war were gut-wrenching and, truth be told, difficult for me to get through, but I understand the necessity of including these scenes for us to understand the devastating impact of such history and as a lesson to never let them happen again. In her Author’s Note, Martha Hall Kelly mentions that she will be writing a third book – another prequel, but this time the story will go back further in time to the Civil War, continuing the story of the Woolsey women with Caroline’s great-grandmother Jane Eliza Newton Woolsey and the establishment of the first nursing services in America. I’m looking forward to Kelly’s next book and for sure, I will definitely have read her first one Lilac Girls by then! Received ARC from Ballantine Books via NetGalley

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Disappointing. I enjoyed Lilac Girls a lot & was really looking forward to this prequel. The first part of the book moved smoothly and I was enjoying the way the story was unfolding. Then about half way through the writing and storyline just started a downward spiral. The situations and the characters reactions were not believable at all... almost to the point of absurdity. Example: A love interest is finally found (after not being heard from in years) injured in a Paris military hospital and th Disappointing. I enjoyed Lilac Girls a lot & was really looking forward to this prequel. The first part of the book moved smoothly and I was enjoying the way the story was unfolding. Then about half way through the writing and storyline just started a downward spiral. The situations and the characters reactions were not believable at all... almost to the point of absurdity. Example: A love interest is finally found (after not being heard from in years) injured in a Paris military hospital and the first reaction is to turn to the doctor and ask about his prognosis? Seriously? The ‘coincidental’ reunions were very unbelievable and weird to me. Overall, it really did not work for me... I came really close to not finishing. Sadly, only 2.5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Libby

    3.75 stars rounded up - Martha Hall Kelly employs a point of view in ‘Lost Roses’ that allows the reader to access perspectives of both the aristocrats and the peasants or working class. Kelly’s characters are wonderfully dimensional but reflect the social and political structure of Russia during the time period of 1912-1921. It is a timeline that includes Russia entering into WW I on August 1, 1914, the February 1917 Revolution, the October 1917 Revolution, the Russian Civil War, and the assass 3.75 stars rounded up - Martha Hall Kelly employs a point of view in ‘Lost Roses’ that allows the reader to access perspectives of both the aristocrats and the peasants or working class. Kelly’s characters are wonderfully dimensional but reflect the social and political structure of Russia during the time period of 1912-1921. It is a timeline that includes Russia entering into WW I on August 1, 1914, the February 1917 Revolution, the October 1917 Revolution, the Russian Civil War, and the assassination of then ruling, Nicholas II on July 17, 1918. Don’t worry! Kelly presents all this in a much more palatable fashion, giving life and breath to her characters as they experience these events. These facts are but a representation of the upheaval and social unrest of those years and give the reader an idea of the turmoil and challenges the characters will face. Kelly follows the remarkable friendship of two women, who, when separated by the European countries and the Atlantic, will write letters to one another every day for years. Eliza Ferriday is a woman born into money and prestige, captivated by travel and experiencing other cultures. Her friend is Sofya Streshnayva, who shares the royal blood of the Romanovs and was once lady in waiting to the tsarina, Alexandra, wife of Nicholas II, the last ruler of the Russian Empire. Sofya’s father serves in the ministry as a financial advisor to the tsar and is well rewarded for his efforts. Sofya, married to Afon, a soldier in the Russian Imperial Army, delivers their son, Maxwell, in Eliza’s home in New York while she is visiting there; Eliza becomes Max’s godmother. Now, Eliza looks forward to visiting Sofya in Russia and spending more time with her new godson. Eliza will leave behind her daughter, Caroline, with her husband, Henry. The third character who will share POV chapters with Eliza and Sofya is Varinka. When we meet Varinka, the taxman is coming to her izba (Russian home) to collect. They have no money, so he takes the samovar, an urn used to boil water for tea. Varinka’s mother, Mamka, sleeps on a bench and Varinka sleeps in the cozy spot atop the oven. Before Varinka’s papa’s death, he bought a young man, Taras, from his alcoholic parents, to apprentice. Taras has since spent time in prison and has become a different person, a brute, unfeeling, and prone to unsavory activities. Varinka’s and Mamka’s life has become much more unpleasant since Taras has come home from prison. The most interesting aspects of the novel for me are the attitudes of the aristocrats, the ruling class in Russia versus the working class. Sofya and her family are kind, but Sofya’s stepmother, Agnessa is not. Neither is one of Eliza’s neighbors, Electra Whitney, a high society grand dame, who puts her nose in the air when the rich Russians have to flee their homes, some with no more than the clothes on their back. Electra and her Woman’s Club are upset at being invaded by aliens. Never mind that the aristocratic women take jobs in hotels and sew, selling their items at bazaars that Eliza will arrange. Philanthropy is something that Eliza wears like a cloak. Varinka is not a totally sympathetic character in this novel, and I don’t think representative of Russia’s working class. In a desperate moment, as Sofya is fleeing her home, she pulls a white rose out of the soil and tucks it into her coat. She will nourish it with molasses and vinegar, keeping it alive. She thinks of it as “a true survivor.” This rose becomes symbolic of the survivors of Russia’s turmoil as it is represented in this novel, as a systematic attempt to eradicate the aristocracy. There is a lot of food for thought in Kelly’s narrative. The beginning was a bit of a slow start for me as I was trying to learn the characters but as I became caught up in their story, the pacing picked up, and I became invested in the outcome, especially for little Max. I’m thankful that authors like Martha Hall Kelly are willing to do the meticulous research that brings such an arresting story to life, creating in me a much more passionate interest in the history than a mere recitation of facts.

  17. 5 out of 5

    etherealfire

    Won this ARC in a GoodReads Giveaway. Lost Roses is a prequel to the excellent Lilac Girls and focuses on Caroline's mother Eliza Ferriday and her work in assisting White Russian Emigres as well as a another pair of storylines about her good friend Sofya who gets caught up in the revolution and a peasant girl Varinka who is working for Sofya's family just prior to it. If you loved Lilac Girls (and I did) then you will love probably love Lost Roses as much as I did. I am fascinated by the the leg Won this ARC in a GoodReads Giveaway. Lost Roses is a prequel to the excellent Lilac Girls and focuses on Caroline's mother Eliza Ferriday and her work in assisting White Russian Emigres as well as a another pair of storylines about her good friend Sofya who gets caught up in the revolution and a peasant girl Varinka who is working for Sofya's family just prior to it. If you loved Lilac Girls (and I did) then you will love probably love Lost Roses as much as I did. I am fascinated by the the legacy of strong principled women in Caroline Ferriday's family tree and I am excited to learn more about them all. The author is evidently working on another female ancestor who was an abolitionist and activist just prior to and during the Civil War so this is an amazing family and I am really excited to read the next book!

  18. 5 out of 5

    KarenK

    I received this from Netgalley.com in exchange for a review. Told from three different viewpoints, this story sweeps back and forth from Russia and America as WW 1 marches through Eliza, Sofya and Varinka's lives. I really liked The Lilac Girls but was kind of disappointed with this one. I had a hard time finding the pacing of this story and was never truly vested with any of the characters. 2.5 rounded up to 3☆ I received this from Netgalley.com in exchange for a review. Told from three different viewpoints, this story sweeps back and forth from Russia and America as WW 1 marches through Eliza, Sofya and Varinka's lives. I really liked The Lilac Girls but was kind of disappointed with this one. I had a hard time finding the pacing of this story and was never truly vested with any of the characters. 2.5 rounded up to 3☆

  19. 4 out of 5

    Britany

    The second book by this author and in this series takes us back from WWII to WWI and following Caroline Ferriday's mother- Eliza. What an incredible family of women that Kelly is taking inspiration from. Told from three alternating perspectives, we are quickly taken on a road running from Russian revolutionists. Eliza Ferriday and Sofya Stepanovich are great friends, connected via Paris. Eliza quickly leaves and heads home to NY while Sofya and her prestigious family head to the towards to seek The second book by this author and in this series takes us back from WWII to WWI and following Caroline Ferriday's mother- Eliza. What an incredible family of women that Kelly is taking inspiration from. Told from three alternating perspectives, we are quickly taken on a road running from Russian revolutionists. Eliza Ferriday and Sofya Stepanovich are great friends, connected via Paris. Eliza quickly leaves and heads home to NY while Sofya and her prestigious family head to the towards to seek refuge as the Bolsheviks overthrow the tsar. The third voice is from Varinka- a poor woman trapped in an abusive relationship with her adopted brother and taking care of her frail mother. They have no food and no money and the power dynamic quickly swifts once the tsar is removed. The three narratives intertwine and quickly pull the reader into what it must've felt like to live in Russia during this haunting time. My heart broke as these families were torn apart as the war ravaged on. I was inspired by Eliza and her work helping the Russian refugees. This was a strong book inspired by a real family and real women. I found the writing strong and was interested to learn more about a time period from the Russian lens. Looking forward to going further back in history to Caroline's great-grandmother during the civil war. I'm pretty sure Kelly will become a go-to author for me. Bravo!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pam Jenoff

    The author of the epic Lilac Girls returns with a tale set during World War I, cleverly braiding the tales of Eliza Ferriday, a cousin of the Romaonovs in Russia, and the daughter of a fortune teller, who brings with her unknown danger.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    It's 1914. Eliza Ferriday lives comfortably with her family in the NYC area. Years earlier she met Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin to the Romanovs, in Paris and they became fast friends. Sofya and her family had been visiting Eliza and her family and Eliza is excited to be traveling back to St. Petersburg with them to see the beauty of Russia and meet the tsar and his family at the White Palace. But the Russian dynasty is on the brink of war and an uprising of revolutionaries are determined to toppl It's 1914. Eliza Ferriday lives comfortably with her family in the NYC area. Years earlier she met Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin to the Romanovs, in Paris and they became fast friends. Sofya and her family had been visiting Eliza and her family and Eliza is excited to be traveling back to St. Petersburg with them to see the beauty of Russia and meet the tsar and his family at the White Palace. But the Russian dynasty is on the brink of war and an uprising of revolutionaries are determined to topple the tsar and punish those of wealth. Eliza returns home and Sofya's family retreats to their country estate, believing they will be safe. With her husband, an officer in the army, away Sofya hires a young peasant girl, Varinka, to care for her toddler son, Max. What she doesn't realize is that Varinka is tied to a ruthless revolutionary who soon brings havoc, danger and destruction to the estate. Sofya and her family are treated with brutality with little chance of escape, and Sofya worries about what will happen to Max. Eliza, suffering from her own loss, worries for her friend, pouring herself into caring for the Russian refugee women. She yearns for news of Sofya, hoping one of the refugee women would have news of Sofya and her family. Told through alternating voices of Eliza, Sofya and Varinka the story of the Russian Revolution is illuminated from a personal point of view. It is also a portrait of strong women and the bond of friendship. Can't wait for Martha Hall Kelly's next book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    TL

    ARC kindly provided by the author after I shyly asked if she could send me one:) (All my opinions are my own) ---- I was very excited to continue the story of this amazing family and learning about Caroline's mother Eliza. (view spoiler)[I was a bit disappointed Sofya wasn't a real person, but that was just me wanting to look her up and see maybe pictures or more about her life, not anything to do with the book itself (hide spoiler)] The writing: 4 stars Characters: 4 stars Plot: 4 stars ---- Bad timi ARC kindly provided by the author after I shyly asked if she could send me one:) (All my opinions are my own) ---- I was very excited to continue the story of this amazing family and learning about Caroline's mother Eliza. (view spoiler)[I was a bit disappointed Sofya wasn't a real person, but that was just me wanting to look her up and see maybe pictures or more about her life, not anything to do with the book itself (hide spoiler)] The writing: 4 stars Characters: 4 stars Plot: 4 stars ---- Bad timing only in the fact that I'm in the middle of a book slump, I could concentrate while reading, it was just getting the motivation to do it (which I don't need to tell you sucks :( ) was the problem. The slump was even affecting another book I was loving as well (determined to finish that one soon too). Rambling haha but This book was a balm for the slump, and helped me claw my way out of it some. It feels good to finally finish a book and love it whole-heartedly after many duds and feeling stressed cause of work. This was just as well done and endearing as its predecessor was. These are women should be praised and celebrated for everything they have done and I wish my school had taught us about them in our history classes (they say you learn all the good stuff after high school). *A visit to the Ferriday house one day is definitely in order* I loved the characters of Sofya and Luba, strong and resourceful, not giving up even when everything seemed hopeless. I don't want to spoil anything about the family but... my heart broke for them all. Varinka was.. something. I had a love/strong dislike relationship with her. At the beginning I felt sorry for her and wanted to drop Taras (and later Vladi) into a room with the Hulk and Black Widow... then throw in Scarlet Witch's powers for good measure. As time went on, I had less sympathy for her in one regard and was sincerely worried for her besides the obvious. I was willing her to make a decision good for her but at the same time... I can't get into it much more without spoiling but I'll just say the tension was high in the air especially here. What I saw of Varinka's mother and Max, loved them. Wish we had spent more time with them during and after (personal preference). Eliza sounds like someone I would have loved to spend time with, as well as her mother and Caroline. To me, it sounds like they were born and lived at the right time so they could do and accomplish what they did. Taras was a great despicable character... one particular reveal especially revealed how twisted his mind was. Russia and the States both felt alive in this book and I never felt jolted out of the place when reading the story. So many times I wanted to jump into the book and help people or kick the behinds and gonads of others *glares* I would highly recommend this book and I am looking forward to the next one she writes :). No complaints/criticisms for this one :).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    In Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls , we meet three women during the World War II years. Lost Roses , takes us back to the years prior to and during World War I. Caroline Ferriday, who was one of the “lilac girls,” is a lesser character in this story. Instead, her mother Eliza is one of the three young ladies who are central to this turbulent historic fiction novel. In 1914 Europe is teetering on the brink of war. Eliza is set to travel to St. Petersburg with her friend, Sofya Streshnayva, a In Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls , we meet three women during the World War II years. Lost Roses , takes us back to the years prior to and during World War I. Caroline Ferriday, who was one of the “lilac girls,” is a lesser character in this story. Instead, her mother Eliza is one of the three young ladies who are central to this turbulent historic fiction novel. In 1914 Europe is teetering on the brink of war. Eliza is set to travel to St. Petersburg with her friend, Sofya Streshnayva, a relative of the tsar. War in Russia strikes close to home, and Sofya hires a young peasant woman, Varinka, to care for her infant son Max. The novel follows the lives of these three women as the unrest and chaos of the revolution spread throughout Russia and Europe, even to America as refugees flee the Bolsheviks and the German army. Ms. Kelly has done extensive research, and she writes with great detail about the clothing and customs of the time, the harsh conditions, and the struggles of the women and their families. The plot unfolds very slowly, and it requires much patience to stick with this tale. Finally, at about 30%, things start to make sense. I wanted to love this book as much as Lilac Girls, but I had a hard time following the plot initially. The chapters alternated by telling the story of each woman, and at the onset, this felt too choppy. I had a hard time keeping track of the characters and the story line, and it seemed to me that it would have been more cohesive if each character’s background had been more fully established first before they were merged. Eventually, however, I became invested in Sofya’s quest to find her son and the fate of her husband. I wondered if “Inka” would ever escape Taras’ grasp, even though it meant leaving loved ones behind. I marveled at Eliza’s charitable work; would she also find love again in her personal life? The characters themselves are memorable. One of my favorite moments is when Caroline's mother Eliza, whom we know from the previous book is a dedicated Good Samaritan, lectures her “friends” when they criticize her for taking in so many Russian refugee women into their elite community. She tells them that while they are different, they will be the redemption of those who fear them because they will shake up the safety of their insulated society. She vows to support them for all she is worth. This sounds like a message for us all. We also get a sense of the clash between the classes – the privileged vs the downtrodden – and what the truly desperate will do to survive. If only this book had grabbed me from the very beginning, I’d be raving about it. Still, for those who love historical fiction, it is a worthwhile read. My thanks to NetGalley, Ballantine Books, and the author for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. 3.5 stars

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I listened to the unabridged audio LOST ROSES written by Martha Hall Kelly and read by Kathleen Gati, Tavia Gilbert, Karissa Vacker, and Catherine Taber with a Note read by the Author. It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to Saint Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. No I listened to the unabridged audio LOST ROSES written by Martha Hall Kelly and read by Kathleen Gati, Tavia Gilbert, Karissa Vacker, and Catherine Taber with a Note read by the Author. It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to Saint Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar's Winter Palace, the famous ballet. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia's imperial Dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya's letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend. From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris where a society of fallen Russian émigrés to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways. In her newest powerful tale told through female driven perspectives, Martha Hall Kelly celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women's friendship, especially during the darkest days of history. "Poor lost roses… Like us I suppose." 5 brave stars ⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️

  25. 4 out of 5

    Travel.with.a.book

    A prequel to the LILAC GIRLS and this one is such a fabulous book, I love Martha's writings she is a very professional and talented Author when it comes to historical fiction! The structure of her writings is so unique and wonderful and you can fall easily in love with her intriguing stories! All the acts of the book are so well connected and the book is told from three different point of views, the book has such a beautiful background settings and the characters are great personalized! . Lost Ros A prequel to the LILAC GIRLS and this one is such a fabulous book, I love Martha's writings she is a very professional and talented Author when it comes to historical fiction! The structure of her writings is so unique and wonderful and you can fall easily in love with her intriguing stories! All the acts of the book are so well connected and the book is told from three different point of views, the book has such a beautiful background settings and the characters are great personalized! . Lost Roses will bring you destructive emotions, the drama between the characters is so intriguing and it is very interesting! Also I enjoyed the topics the Author uses in her new book and I can tell that I enjoyed it more than her first book The Lilac Girls even though everyone seems to love the first book more! . Three main characters are very different from each other but they have lots in common, Eliza is an American she's best friend with Sofya and she's passionate about charity work! Sofya is a Russian aristocracy plus I must mention she's family to the last Romanov tsar! And Verinka which is also a Russian woman who works as a servant at Sofya's home! Learning about Caroline's mother Eliza was a very intriguing and interesting part of the book which pushed me to read it, every page was filled with an interesting act! . The book is set in WWI and it has a very beautiful story, it merges struggles in life, strength and feminism, I enjoyed how the Author has described the characters life in details and that makes it so interesting read! I enjoyed this book so much and you can read this book without having to read the first one The Lilac Girls!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Connie G

    "Lost Roses" was inspired by the life of the real Eliza Ferriday and her work helping Russian emigres during World War I. When the Bolsheviks gained power in Russia, the previously wealthy White Russians were in a desperate situation and were forced to flee. The book follows Eliza's fictional best friend Sofya as she deals with terrible losses, but struggles to survive and save her son. An impoverished Russian young woman, Varinka, faces challenges from an abusive man and is the third central ch "Lost Roses" was inspired by the life of the real Eliza Ferriday and her work helping Russian emigres during World War I. When the Bolsheviks gained power in Russia, the previously wealthy White Russians were in a desperate situation and were forced to flee. The book follows Eliza's fictional best friend Sofya as she deals with terrible losses, but struggles to survive and save her son. An impoverished Russian young woman, Varinka, faces challenges from an abusive man and is the third central character. Varinka's mother, a fortune teller, adds an exotic element as she reads the cards, often foreshadowing events to come. The book is told in the alternating first person voices of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka with settings in Russia, Paris, and the United States. The Russian women and children in the story were not close to the trenches of World War I, but there was another kind of danger from the fighting in the Russian Revolution. Although the first part of the story moves slowly as the author sets the scene historically, it becomes a page-turner as Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka have to deal with dangerous and tragic events. It was also heartwarming that the Ferriday family could help some starving Russian women make a new start.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Grace W

    I honestly do not understand the hype for this book. I never read Lilac Girls and this does not inspire me to do so. Every point of view from the three women felt like three completely different books. At no point did I feel like I understood these characters nor did I come to care for them. There are several plot threads that are simply dropped. The book is also extremely lengthy coming in at 421 pages and you feel every single one of them. For such a long story not a whole lot actually happens I honestly do not understand the hype for this book. I never read Lilac Girls and this does not inspire me to do so. Every point of view from the three women felt like three completely different books. At no point did I feel like I understood these characters nor did I come to care for them. There are several plot threads that are simply dropped. The book is also extremely lengthy coming in at 421 pages and you feel every single one of them. For such a long story not a whole lot actually happens. So much of Eliza’s story simply doesn’t add to the plot of the other twos and feels so jarringly out of place that every time I got to one of her chapters I felt like I had missed something. It’s poorly organized, too long, and never draws the reader in. There is also several “twists” at the end that are baffling and never fully explained. Multiple characters who we think are dead somehow show up in the same place at the right time. I read this book for a book club and honestly if I could have I would have DNF’d it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly April 2019 Historical fiction Random House Publishing Rating: 5/5 I received a digital copy of this ARC from NetGalley and Random House in exchange for an unbiased review. I am thrilled to be reviewing this new novel by Martha Hall Kelly. I absolutely loved her book The Lilac Girls and have often recommended it to others. The Lilac Girls featured a real-life heroine, Caroline Ferriday, during WWII. In Lost Roses, the author’s second novel, the story takes us back to WW Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly April 2019 Historical fiction Random House Publishing Rating: 5/5 I received a digital copy of this ARC from NetGalley and Random House in exchange for an unbiased review. I am thrilled to be reviewing this new novel by Martha Hall Kelly. I absolutely loved her book The Lilac Girls and have often recommended it to others. The Lilac Girls featured a real-life heroine, Caroline Ferriday, during WWII. In Lost Roses, the author’s second novel, the story takes us back to WWI and Caroline’s mother, Eliza Woolsey Mitchell, during WWI. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Again, Martha Hall Kelly delves deep into the history and people of the time period. She only scratched the surface it seems with her first novel, The Lilac Girls, revealing the remarkable story of Caroline Ferriday. It should come as no surprise that this remarkable woman was reared by a lineage of courageous women. Lost Roses is based on the research and history of Caroline’s mother, Eliza Woolsey Mitchell, a staunch abolitionist and philanthropist in NYC. She advocated and assisted the “White Russian” émigrés who were former Russian aristocrats who lost everything when the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia 1918. This historical novel is well researched with many of the characters developed from the stories of actual people. Lost Roses occurs during 1914-1921 during WWI focused on life in United States, France and Russia as narrated by Eliza, Sofya and Varinka whose lives ultimately converge. A forever friendship was formed at Brillantmont School in the Swiss Alps when Eliza and Sofya meet. The distance of Eliza living in NYC/Paris and Sofya living in Russia does not prove to be an obstacle in their loyalty to each other. Sofya delivers her son Maxwell unexpectedly while visiting Eliza just prior to the social uprising in Russia. Once settled back in Russia, the family ultimately hire Varinka to assist with the child care of baby Max. Varinka lives with her ailing Mamka in a questionable living situation after her father dies and leaves Taras in charge. Taras is soon reunited with an old cell mate, Vladi, from prison and become involved with looting and chaos of overthrowing the tzar. The three women’s lives eventually collide in devastating ways. The remarkable strength and courage of women to manage difficult life circumstances is explored. The decisions and choices people make have lasting effects on everyone. There are many unsavory and despicable characters who allow the brave to shine. I don’t like spoilers so it is difficult to describe a novel so immensely rich in detail and history. Remarkably, the author is already working on her third novel about another generation of this family. The next prequel is reported to be about Eliza’s mother, Jane Newton Woolsey during the Civil War.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Coyle-Crivelli

    The moment you realize that the second book is just as intelligent, respectful and endearing as the first... I have waited for a new book from Martha Hall Kelly and am so honored that I was able to read this one early, I loved it. (And my obsession with books about Russia was fed!) Can't wait for the next one and will plan a trip to the Ferriday home as soon as I can get there. These are women that should be celebrated. The moment you realize that the second book is just as intelligent, respectful and endearing as the first... I have waited for a new book from Martha Hall Kelly and am so honored that I was able to read this one early, I loved it. (And my obsession with books about Russia was fed!) Can't wait for the next one and will plan a trip to the Ferriday home as soon as I can get there. These are women that should be celebrated.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jenna Bookish

    My thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher.  Lost Roses is a prequel to Lilac Girls, and both books feature Caroline Ferriday, although Lost Roses focuses more on Caroline's mother, Eliza, than on Caroline herself. the two books can definitely be read in either order and I don't think it would impact how much you would enjoy either one. Lost Roses follows the inter My thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher.  Lost Roses is a prequel to Lilac Girls, and both books feature Caroline Ferriday, although Lost Roses focuses more on Caroline's mother, Eliza, than on Caroline herself. the two books can definitely be read in either order and I don't think it would impact how much you would enjoy either one. Lost Roses follows the interconnected stories of three principal point of view characters:  Eliza - an American socialite who is passionate about charity work  Sofya - a wealthy Russian woman and dear friend of Eliza  Varinka - a teenage girl employed as a servant in Sofya's home in Russia  Lost Roses feels a bit slow in the beginning. Your mileage may vary, but it took me longer than most books to become invested in this one. I read small bits and pieces of the first half while finding myself sidetracked by other books, then flew through the second half. I think part of the issue was the number of point of view characters and the degree of separation of each of their stories, despite each of the POV characters knowing at least one of the others. I think this format made it take a bit longer to get to know each of these women well enough to become invested in their stories. To a lesser extent, I had the same issue with Lilac Girls, which is set up the same way, but both books feel well worth that time investment by the time they are done. One of the best things about this novel is the way Martha Hall Kelly brings interesting, morally grey characters to life. Varinka was particularly interesting to me; I don't want to get into spoilers, but the hardships of her life certainly play a part in some horrible decisions she makes and her total lack of empathy for certain people. She is pitted against Sofya by events which are outside of either woman's control. Sofya, conversely, seems totally blind to the strife in her home country until it begins to impact her personally. Most members of the Russian aristocracy definitely give off a bit of a Marie Antoinette vibe at times, far more concerned with the luxuries of their daily lives than the fact that the common people are starving. It's clear that Martha Hall Kelly did a lot of research to get the time period right. Depending on your taste, you may feel this adds a lot of texture to the story or it may feel overly detailed. As a big history enthusiast, a loved the detail and thought it helped the reader to get to know the characters better by giving a very full sense of their environment, particularly the anxieties brought on by the political chaos of the time.   All in all, despite the slow start, I definitely recommend Lost Roses. Fans of Lilac Girls will absolutely want to grab a copy of Martha Hall Kelly's latest work. You can read all of my reviews on my blog, Jenna Bookish! Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr

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