Read advance reader review of The Last Russian Doll by Kristen Loesch, page 2 of 4

Summary | Reviews | More Information | More Books

The Last Russian Doll

by Kristen Loesch

The Last Russian Doll by Kristen Loesch X
The Last Russian Doll by Kristen Loesch
Buy This Book

About this book


Page 2 of 4
There are currently 27 member reviews
for The Last Russian Doll
Order Reviews by:
  • Robert S. (Henderson, NV)
    A Grand and Poignant Adventure
    "The Last Russian Doll" is an extraordinary work of historical fiction-a three-dimensional maze noteworthy for its intricate plot, textured structure and realistic character development. Weaving the threads of multiple lives against the backdrop of the twentieth century Soviet Union the author slowly and deftly exposes the unity of the story and the complex relationships among the characters, rewarding the reader for the focus that the novel demands.

    Among the book's most compelling qualities is its forceful narrative of the great historical events that defined the Soviet Union of the last century (the revolution, the siege of Leningrad, the rule of Stalin and the breakup of the republic) which are described through their profound affect on the personalities that populate the story.

    Finally, the art of the prose distinguishes this fine work. A car is described as "shrieking in protest at every turn". A character observes a "pyramid of food jars with contents that appeared monstrous, white sweet onions like human eyeballs, gherkins like fetuses". And the old lady's mouth arranging itself into a smile".

    I expect that "The Last Russian Doll" will appeal to most consumers of serious historical fiction and provide to this audience a memorable and thought provoking read.
  • Jennifer B. (Oviedo, FL)
    The Last Russian Doll
    The Last Russian Doll is one of the best interpretations of this historical era I have read. The Russian Revolution of 1917 in and of itself is a story of drama and tragedy that has always held a fascination for me. The author, Kristen Loesch, has written an excellent story bringing three generations of Russian citizens together in an intriguing way. It is beautifully written and descriptive without being difficult to understand Russian surnames and colloquialisms. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in historical fiction and shall suggest it to my book club.
  • Mel F. (Auburn, MA)
    Enthralling historical fiction
    A thoroughly engaging work of historical fiction that blends characters in two different time periods in Russia. In 1991, Rosie (Raisa), who is of Russian heritage, becomes a research assistant to a famous dissident writer, Alexey Ivanov. His "research" involves Russia, so Rosie accompanies him to find answers and face demons related to her childhood. Concurrently, Loesch spins a tale of Antonina (Tonya) and Valentin as they experience life, love, upheaval, and betrayal during the turbulent period of Russia's history (1916-1943). While it may appear that the characters in their respective time periods are discrete, Loesch uses a combination of fact, fiction, and fairy tale to weave a thread that unites their stories in a meaningful and intriguing way. I found this book exciting because of its Russian history, dimensionality of its characters and the mystery associated with the relationships between all the characters.
  • Paula B. (Albuquerque, NM)
    Great historical mystery about human connections
    I really enjoyed the mystery of family intrigue and the historical setting of this book. This is an interesting book that includes mystery, human tragedy and intrigue. The characters are well represented by people that remind us of ourselves. The setting of the early 20th century Russian revolution and how it reaches all the way into the early 21st century makes this a fascinating and informative story. Many people whose family migrated to America or England can identify with the lost history created by war and revolution. The context of the Russian Revolution and the chaotic world of those times is of interest today. This story shows the real life consequences and costs people paid to survive. There is nothing heavy about this really fun book, set primarily in a time of great conflict.
  • Cheryl W. (Crosby, MN)
    The Last Russian doll
    In a faraway kingdom, in a long-ago land...this is story of generations of women interlocked in Russian history. It starts with the overthrow of the Romanov family by the Bolsheviks in 1917 and continues to 1993. Rosie who lives in London takes a position as an assistant and goes to Russia to discover her history. I throughly enjoyed this book and the Russian history interwoven with this story. I had trouble at first understanding the multiple names given to the characters at different times in their lives. I would highly recommend.
  • Susan Tipton
    An Engaging Russian Saga
    I found the novel a bit slow to get going on, but once I connected I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story starts in the current time when Rosie, a college student, who longs to return to Russia, is given the opportunity when she answers an ad from an academic. Rosie was from taken from Russia as a small child in the aftermath of a family tragedy which forms the structure for the story. The opportunity was dropped in her lap and I had an inkling that it was too easy, but that too was part of the bones of the plot.

    The story then takes parallel lines beginning with a star crossed lovers theme of two opposites falling into a dangerous love affair in the 1900s Russia. I found this riveting. The Bolshevik revolution was played out in all its tragic consequences brought down to how it affects people caught up in it. The two stories converge and the paths taken by the characters unfolds. The mystery of the deaths of Rosie’s father and sister are revealed as one of those consequences. I found at times difficulty deciphering who was being spoken about because of unclear pronouns- I had to do some re-reading to get the thread but it was a lovely love story, engaging history, a story of missed opportunities, uniting, and enduring love.
  • Vivian H. (Winchester, VA)
    Beautifully Written Russian Family Saga
    The Last Russian Doll is one of the most compelling books of historical fiction that I've read in years. The themes feel nearly as sweeping as the best of Russian literature encompassing forbidden love, romance, world war, civil war, treachery, mystery, political upheaval, hope, despair, beauty, bleakness, loss, miscommunication, custom created porcelain dolls, Gulags, torture, redemption, fairy tales, survival, and the search for meaning in life. Mix War & Peace with Crime & Punishment and toss in a bit of Anna Karenina with a dash of Pushkin, Stalin, Chekhov and a pinch of Solzhenitsyn. I could not stop reading. It is one of those stories I did not want to end. The story alternates among perspectives/ voices as well as three different time periods: 1917/1918; 1945/1946; 1991.

More Information


Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: A Mystery of Mysteries
    A Mystery of Mysteries
    by Mark Dawidziak
    Edgar Allan Poe biographers have an advantage over other writers because they don't have to come up ...
  • Book Jacket: Moonrise Over New Jessup
    Moonrise Over New Jessup
    by Jamila Minnicks
    Jamila Minnicks' debut novel Moonrise Over New Jessup received the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially...
  • Book Jacket
    The Magician's Daughter
    by H.G. Parry
    "Magic isn't there to be hoarded like dragon's treasure. Magic is kind. It comes into ...
  • Book Jacket: The Great Displacement
    The Great Displacement
    by Jake Bittle
    On August 4, 2021, California's largest single wildfire to date torched through the small mountain ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Nurse's Secret
by Amanda Skenandore
A fascinating historical novel based on the little-known story of America's first nursing school.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Lost English Girl
    by Julia Kelly

    A story of love, betrayal, and motherhood set against the backdrop of World War II and the early 1960s.

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Russian Doll
    by Kristen Loesch

    A haunting epic of betrayal, revenge, and redemption following three generations of Russian women.

Who Said...

Everywhere I go, I am asked if I think the university stifles writers...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!


Solve this clue:

R Peter T P P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.