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The Last Russian Doll

by Kristen Loesch

The Last Russian Doll by Kristen Loesch X
The Last Russian Doll by Kristen Loesch
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There are currently 27 member reviews
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  • Anke V. (Portland, OR)
    The Last Russian Doll
    The Last Russian Doll is a sweeping historical fiction novel, with two equally compelling, engaging and entertaining storylines that blend past and present that interweave to build up a sense of mystery. Starting in Russia in 1915, Tonya's story spans decades encompassing the Revolution of October 1917, Russian Civil War, Stalinist purges of the 1930s, siege of Leningrad during World War 2 and beyond. All of these events affect Tonya and those close to her in dramatic ways, forcing her to make impossible choices to protect herself and those dear to her. Rosie's story takes place in 1991, an equally pivotal time in Russian history. Hers is the era of perestroika and glasnost that would ultimately result in the collapse of the Soviet Union, but a new regime does not mean that old wounds can be forgotten. These turbulent events in the country of Rosie's birth reflect her own life, where she continues to be haunted by memories and unanswered questions of her earlier life. A treat to read!
  • Cindy R. (North Miami Beach, FL)
    Russian Review
    A dual narrative epic saga spanning 100-years of Russian history, THE LAST RUSSIAN DOLL by Kristen Loesch hooked me from the start. At first the idea of reading about Russian history wasn't my cup of tea, but the prose, the plot, story and complex characters took me into another world which was fascinating.

    The first narrative starts in 1915 with the rising of the Bolsheviks and 1917 Revolution. The second begins in 1991 London and moves to present day Russia. There's a mystery that our protagonist must solve. What she uncovers is a devastating family history that spans the 1917 Revolution, the siege of Leningrad, Stalin's purges, and beyond.
  • Shelley C. (Eastport, NY)
    Great Story
    Written as an homage to "Anna Karenina", and all the other great Russian novels, "The Last Russian Doll", is the story of Tonya and Valentin and of Rosie. It begins right after WW I and tells of the transformation from Tsarist Russia, to a Socialist state, to a Communist state, to the 1990's and the glasnost period that gave rise to Putin.

    I did have a hard time getting into this book. Perhaps it was because of all the Russian names and places mentioned. But once I did, the narrative seemed to flow into a wonderfully sprawling love story that carried me along with it. For the story of Tonya and Valentin is a love story, while the story of Rosie is one of self discovery; who she is and how she is connected to the other people in the novel

    "The Last Russian Doll", stands out, because it is so different from the novels of recent years. It is a throwback, after all. And I highly recommend it.
  • Chris (CA)
    A fascinating, must-read historical novel
    I was excited to read this book and was not disappointed. I learned a lot about Russian history in the period from the Russian Revolution up to the late 20th century and even more about how the Russian people were affected during those turbulent times. This was a more personal look at history which helped to better understood the characters' actions. The use of Russian folklore enhanced the story. Great writing, an intricate plot, good character development with different timelines all set in a fascinating country and time make this a must-read novel. Anyone interested in Russian history should read this book. Book clubs would have many topics to discuss. I want to reread it and highly recommend it.
  • Mary S. (Bow, NH)
    Russian Doll is a must read
    I don't know how I can convince you to read this book, but I will do my best. It is masterpiece of plot and writing. Like a matryoshka doll, just as you get comfortable with a story line, a new plot twist is revealed. Plus, the skill at which the author toggles back and forth between two time periods is remarkable – you never get lost – and then when she intertwines all the characters from past and present, you sigh with relieve as she fits them together just like a nesting doll. I was engrossed in this book from the start to finish and I'm sure you will be too.
  • Kevin D. (Morristown, NJ)
    The Last Russian Doll
    Spanning three generations, "The Last Russian Doll" beautifully encapsulates the story of one Russian family during the Soviet Era in what is perhaps the most remarkable novel ever written about the period. Utilizing dual timelines, the author masterfully weaves forward from the beginning and backwards from the ending to bring together a breath-taking story in which nothing is what it seems, and surprises lurk around each corner. Expertly crafted characters lure the reader in from the very beginning in a setting not experienced since "Doctor Zhivago". In addition, the use of fairytales and folklore add an element to the novel few others have dared approach. One of the most intriguing novels of the year, "The Last Russian Doll" is a five-star read not to be missed.
  • Laurie F. (Brookline, MA)
    Great Book and Education of the1917 Russian Revolution
    This is one of those books, once you finish, you want to reread it now you know how the characters develop and change. A very interesting story interweaving 3 generations. Raisa/Rosie, follows a story written by her great-grandmother to research and react to her own genealogy through fairy tales, porcelain dolls, love, death, and war. You won't want to put it down.

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