⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Review – The Porcelain Doll By Kristen Loesch #ThePorcelainDoll
This book was stunning, from the cover, the descriptions, to the dialogue, even to the way that it integrated Russian words into dialogue, to expose the reader to a little bit more of that culture and the mentality that comes with it. I was fascinated by the characters and they’re very intricate and interwoven storylines. I loved trying to guess the relations between both of the main characters, especially because of their similarities and how that lined up with other events in Russian and Soviet history.
The novel follows Rosie (Raisa) who is trying to tie together the loose ends of her Russian past after her mother’s death while also preparing for her upcoming marriage to an English man. She sees a notice to help a researcher in Moscow track down someone in history and she wants to use this as an opportunity to resolve any issues in her life before moving on to the next stage of her life.
The other character the novel follows is Tonya, daughter to a prince in the country, who marries into nobility in Petrograd (modern day St. Petersburg). Tonya’s story follows her affair with a Bolshevik, her escape from Soviet forces back to her hometown and her actions that aide the survival of her family and to avoid imprisonment under the severe Soviet regime. It is a mystery, a puzzle put together from what little remained in record from the early 20th century and a tale of Tonya’s childhood trauma that influenced her life as she went on.
I can’t say that this was the easiest or the lightest book to read but once it got going, I couldn’t put it down. It was tough to learn about the kinds of things Tonya had to do for survival, not only for herself, but also her family. I found the juxtaposition of her old lifestyle and her new lifestyle really jarring, especially when they collided in her old home. This novel truly is the definition of desperate times fall for desperate measures and I would be incredibly interested in learning more about the inspiration behind this novel.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in historical fiction, especially an interest in Russian history, but a mystery lover would also find themselves intrigued by this book.
This review has been made possible thanks to Christina Storey from Allison & Busby for providing me with an Advance Reader’s Copy in exchange for an honest review.