"Hmm? Who's that?" Dmitri, unaccountably, is standing at the window of their bedroom, holding up a blue dress, fingering the collar.
"The Lady in Blue. The Gainsborough painting." "We'd better finish getting dressed. Elena will be here any minute."
"Where are we going?"
"Yes, of course." She turns away from Dmitri and begins to fish around in her jewelry box. A wedding, so she should dress up. She will wear her mother's . . . the things that hang from ears. She can picture them quite clearly but can't find the word. Neither can she find the objects themselves. She could ask Dmitri where they've gotten to, but first she needs the word. Her mother's . . . what? They are filigreed gold with little rubies. She can picture them, but there is no word with the picture, not in English or in Russian.
The foregoing is excerpted from The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
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