A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is the best, most brilliant novel I have read this year.
I think that Towles created a work of genius, a book for today and for the future. I am very drawn to Count Rostov, a man of nobility, grace and wit. A young man at the time of the Russian Revolution, the Count was safely in Paris, but he undertook the arduous journey to return to his family estate in Russia to rescue his beloved grandmother and he sent her to safety in Europe.
The Count was arrested for the crime of being an aristocrat and narrowly escaped a death sentence, when his life was spared by a poem he had written. Yes, a poem saved his life. He got the bizarre sentence of house arrest for life, to be served in the grand hotel where he had an apartment. The Count was swiftly moved to a tiny room in the attic. He gathers friends and we see his new life being formed. A passionate love affair, a young girl needing help, a tormented poet and friend in danger, a party official who admires Rostov, Communist officials who hate Rostov and much more.
The craziness of the Bolsheviks is shown by them having the labels removed from all the wine bottles in the hotel wine cellar, to stop elitism. On the larger scale Stalin caused the death of millions of peasants when farms were violently taken from them. Yet the Count lived on, following his grandfather’s dictum, “Master your circumstances.”
I am glad I have a paper copy so I can lend it to local friends who want to read it. What novel are you pushing today?
Petunias on my patio, just for fun. I have 4 pots of petunias and pick off about 20 faded blossoms each day, to keep them on their toes and blooming.
I donated 15 books to a Little Free Library and got 3 novels I couldn't resist.
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, Clock Dance by Anne Tyler and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. Do you recommend any of these? Happy reading, until we meet again. Thanks to Roy Rogers and Dale Evans for their song "Happy trails to you til we meet again."
Visit Church Explorer for an interesting post by Billy Blue Eyes about the final resting place of Winston Churchill, a hero of mine. Billy shares many excellent photos of the church and its stained glass windows, etc.