Midnight in St. Petersburg Summary and Reviews

Midnight in St. Petersburg

by Vanora Bennett

Midnight in St. Petersburg by Vanora Bennett X
Midnight in St. Petersburg by Vanora Bennett
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2016
    384 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

Faberge jewels, the mysterious Rasputin, and a priceless violin: Each play a part in one young woman's fight for survival, and for love, in revolutionary Russia.

St. Petersburg, 1911: Inna Feldman has fled the pogroms of the south to take refuge with distant relatives in Russia's capital. Welcomed by the flamboyant Leman family, she is apprenticed into their violin-making workshop. She feels instantly at home in their bohemian circle, but revolution is in the air, and as society begins to fracture, she is forced to choose between her heart and her head.

She loves her brooding cousin, Yasha, but he is wild, destructive, and devoted to revolution; Horace Wallick, an Englishman who makes precious Faberge creations, is older and promises security and respectability. And, like many others, she is drawn to the mysterious, charismatic figure beginning to make a name for himself in the city: Rasputin.

As the rebellion descends into anarchy and bloodshed, a commission to repair a priceless Stradivarius violin offers Inna a means of escape. But which man will she choose to take with her? And is it already too late? A magical and passionate story steeped in history and intrigue, Midnight in St. Petersburg is an extraordinary novel of music, politics, and the toll that revolution exacts on the human heart.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A thoughtful read for those interested in Russian history or historical dramas." - Library Journal

"The three narrators (mostly Inna, with input from Yasha and Horace) are passive observers, commenting from the sidelines of history. The chief appeal here is not plot but the detailed observation of daily Russian life during this period." - Kirkus

"A tale of thundering passions set in the Russian Revolution ... Historical fiction at its best." - Kate Saunders, The Times (UK)

"A rich gorgeous broth of passion and danger ... I was swept away by the meticulous set-dressing, epic plot, and unashamed romanticism." = Saga Magazine

"Bennett's sophisticated grasp of historical realities and psychological complexity gives power and depth to what might easily have been a cliched romance." - The Sunday Times (UK)

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Author Information

Vanora Bennett Author Biography

Vanora Bennett became a journalist almost by accident. Having learned Russian and been hired after university by Reuters, she was catapulted out of the classical-music life of her family and straight into the adrenaline-charged realm of conflict reporting. While on a trainee assignment in Paris, she fell in with the Cambodian émigré community and ended up reporting in Cambodia herself, a decade after the Khmer Rouge regime ended, as well as covering Cambodian peace talks in places as far apart as Indonesia and Paris. That led to a similar job in Africa, commuting between Angola and Mozambique and writing about death, destruction, diamonds and disease, and later to a posting in a country that stopped being the Soviet Union three months after she arrived. She spent much of the ...

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