Once I start a book, I almost always finish it, no matter how bad it may seem at
first, as there's always the chance that might, just might, get better.
Nine times out of ten my initial impression was correct, and the book ended up
being a waste of time. Every now and then, though, my determination is rewarded.
Such is the case with Simon Montefiore's first novel, Sashenka, the
second half of which is a brilliantly written, impeccably researched work of
The first third of Sashenka is set in 1916-1917, in a St. Petersburg on the verge of revolution. It's a perfect time and place to use as the setting for a historical fiction novel, a fascinating era with a wealth of intrigue, politics, corruption, and a whole host of other historic circumstances and people that could be incorporated into a marvelous story; but Montefiore does not take advantage...
About the Author
Simon Sebag Montefiore is a historian of Russia and author of Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner; Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar; and the bestselling Young Stalin, awarded the 2007 Costa Biography Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Biography. Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Montefiore lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.
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