The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
St. Martin’s Press
eBook & Paperback; 352 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
The unforgettable story of Alexander Pushkin’s beautiful wife, Natalya, a woman much admired at Court, and how she became reviled as the villain of St. Petersburg.
At the age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. But while she finds joy in French translations and a history of Russian poetry, her family is more concerned with her marriage prospects. It is only fitting that during the Christmas of 1828 at her first public ball in her hometown of Moscow she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin.
Enchanted at first sight, Natalya is already a devoted reader of Alexander’s serialized novel in verse, Evgeny Onegin. The most recently published chapter ends in a duel, and she is dying to learn what happens next. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya hopes to see him again as soon as possible.
What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death. With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story—the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court.
“An evocative story of love and power, Jennifer Laam draws the reader deep into the heart of a resilient woman’s struggle to hold her own in Imperial Russian society. Natalya Pushkina, a woman once adored, ridiculed, and since forgotten, is brought to life in this vibrant, skillfully woven tale.” – Serena Burdick, author of Girl in the Afternoon
“A captivating tale in which Natalya Pushkin is vividly imagined. The dramatic complexities of her personality, and of Imperial Russian society, are cleverly portrayed in this sensitive and skillfully written novel. Sure to enchant those who are already fans of Jennifer Laam, and fans of historical fiction.” – Hazel Gaynor, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home
“The Lost Season of Love and Snow deftly weaves historical facts with rich, deep emotion, taking us inside the unforgettable love story between young beauty Natalya Goncharova and famed poet Alexander Pushkin. Jennifer Laam delivers a compelling portrait of a woman unfairly condemned not just for her own desires, but for the adoration of powerful men she could neither reject nor control. Laam makes love itself both the hero and the villain of this powerful story, delicately exploring its joys, delights and tensions as well as its tragic consequences.” – Greer Macallister, USA Today bestselling author of The Magician’s Lie and Girl in Disguise
My Review: Oh my goodness, this book. Truly, if I could just end the review right there, I would. Because The Lost Season of Love and Snow is just so stinkin’ good!
I fully admit to having absolutely zero idea who Alexander Pushkin was. (I know, I know.) So before I dug into the book, I did some research on Mr. Pushkin. (For those of you in the dark like I was, Alexander Pushkin was a Russian poet, born in 1799. He was considered to be the greatest Russian poet, as well as the founder of modern Russian literature.)
I love when a book begins with the ending. It literally drives me crazy, wondering how events led to that point, and keeps me reaching for the book. The Lost Season of Love and Snow is told from the perspective of Natalya, Alexander Pushkin’s wife. She is young, intelligent, a lover of the written word and passionately in love with Alexander, who is many years her senior. He returns that love, they get married, and the story begins. As time progresses, Natalya begins to lose herself in the shadow of her husband’s whims. Alexander is frequently gone, doesn’t appreciate his wife’s dreams, and leaves his wife to find affirmation elsewhere…namely in attention from other men, which leads the characters down a very dark road.
Jennifer Laam did an incredible job of fleshing out these two historical figures, as well as adding depth, imagination and historical accuracy to their story. I absolutely loved this book and could not, for the life of me, put it down. I feel as if I was given the honor of meeting Alexander and Natalya personally, and the two of them have haunted my thoughts long after turning that last page. I even came to have an affection for Natalya. Sometimes, women give so much of themselves to those they love, that they can’t find a way back to the girl they used to be. She was written with such clarity, that I couldn’t help but root for her. An amazing book from an amazing author, a definite must-read.
(Dear Ms. Laam, I will be reading everything you ever write from now on. Love, Stacie.)
Jennifer Laam is the author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar, The Tsarina’s Legacy, and the forthcoming The Lost Season of Love and Snow, all from St. Martin’s Griffin. She is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management. Jennifer has lived in Los Angeles and the suburbs of Detroit, and currently resides in California’s Central Valley. When she is not busy writing or reading, Jennifer spends her time obsessing over cosplay, trying new vegetarian recipes, line dancing, and spoiling cats. She works for her alma mater, University of the Pacific.
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, January 8
Review at Let Them Read Books
Tuesday, January 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Wednesday, January 10
Review at Creating Herstory
Thursday, January 11
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Friday, January 12
Feature at Passages to the Past
Monday, January 15
Review at The Maiden’s Court
Tuesday, January 16
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Wednesday, January 17
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, January 18
Review at Peppermint Ph.D.
During the Blog Tour we will be giving away 2 paperback copies of The Lost Season of Love and Snow! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
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