Martha Hall Kelly
A prequel to Lilac Girls and also based on a true story, features Caroline Ferriday’s mother, Eliza, who fought to save a group of Russian aristocrats who suffered horrors at the hands of the Bolsheviks during World War I and came to America penniless and traumatized.
It’s 1914 and Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov’s, to her home in St. Petersburg to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war and Russia’s Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya flees to her family’s country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire a local, Varinka, who brings danger into their household. In America, Eliza is helping the Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.
From St. Petersburg to Paris and the society of fallen Russian émigrés who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a ride through a momentous time in history.
“The writing is rich and vivid with detail about the period. A nuanced tale that speaks to the strength of women.”