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Lost Roses
Cover of Lost Roses
Lost Roses
A Novel
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERThe million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now Lost Roses, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features...
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERThe million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now Lost Roses, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features...
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  • NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • The million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now Lost Roses, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline's mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.
    "Not only a brilliant historical tale, but a love song to all the ways our friendships carry us through the worst of times."Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours
    It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar's Winter Palace, the famous ballet.
    But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia's imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.
    On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White 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 the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris where a society of fallen Russian émigrés live to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways. In her newest powerful tale told through female-driven perspectives, Martha Hall Kelly celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women's friendship, especially during the darkest days of history.
    Praise for Lost Roses
    "A charming and vividly rendered historical novel . . . Based on true events, this prequel to Lilac Girls transports."People
    "Inspired by true events, just like its predecessor, and just as well-researched, Lost Roses is a remarkable story and another testament to female strength. This sweeping epic will thrill and delight fans of Lilac Girls and readers of historical fiction alike."—PopSugar

Excerpts-

  • From the book Chapter 1

    Eliza

    1914

    It was a spring party like any other held in Southampton, with the usual games. Croquet. Badminton. Mild social cruelty. It took place at Mother's house on Gin Lane, a sprawling white clapboard place surrounded by a swoop of tawny lawn, which eased down to meet the ocean. The Queen Anne cottage, known to most as Mitchell Cottage after Father's people, stood with her sisters lined up along the treeless South Fork of Long Island, New York, like passengers on a ship deck facing out to sea.

    If I paid more attention that day, maybe I could have predicted which of the boys who laughed over croquet wickets would soon die in the forests of Argonne or which women would exchange their ivory silk dresses for black crape. I wouldn't have pointed to myself.

    It was late May and too unseasonably cool near the ocean for a fete of any kind, but Mother insisted on sending our Russian friends, the Streshnayvas, off in style. I stood in the cool, wide living room at the back of the house. Like a steamship wheelhouse it provided the perfect view of the backyard through the picture window, the glass hazed with salt from the sea. It gave the scene a blurry look as guests drifted down the lawn to the dunes.

    I felt two arms wrap around my waist and turned to find my eleven-­year-­old daughter, Caroline, already almost to my shoulder in height, her hair the color of summer hay and pulled back in a white ribbon. Her friend Betty Stockwell stood at her side, a complete opposite of Caroline, five inches shorter and already blossoming into a dark-­haired beauty. Though dressed in matching white dresses, they were as different as chalk and cheese.

    Caroline held her arms fast around my waist. "We're going to walk the beach. And Father says he's sorry he dressed without your help this morning, but don't deprive him of his Dubonnet."

    I smoothed one hand down her back. "Tell your father color-­blind men who insist on sneaking yellow socks into their wardrobes cannot be forgiven."

    Caroline smiled up at me. "You're my favorite mother."

    She ran off across the lawn and down to the beach, past men who held on to their straw hats, their white flannel trousers flapping in the breeze. Ladies in canvas shoes and suits of cream linen over dainty lingerie shirtwaists turned their faces to the sun, back from places like Palm Beach, happy to feel northern breezes again. Mother's suffragette friends, most outfitted in black taffeta and silk, lent dark contrast to the otherwise pale lawn, like strutting crows in golden flax.

    Mother came and linked arms with me. "A bit chilly for a beach walk." My seventy-­year-­old mother, Caroline Carson Woolsey Mitchell, referred to as "Carry" by her sisters, stood as tall as I did, six feet, a staunch New Englander sprung from ancient Yankee stock that had weathered as many heartaches as hurricanes.

    "They'll be fine, Mother."

    I squinted to see my Henry, Caroline, and Betty already walking down the beach, the skirt of Caroline's white dress wind-­puffed, as if ready to fly her skyward.

    "They have their shoes off?" Mother asked. "I do hope they come in soon."

    The wind stirred whitecaps on the ocean as the three walked, heads bowed.

    Mother wrapped her arms warm about me. "What do they even talk about, Caroline and Henry?"

    "Everything. Lost in their own world."

    The breeze grabbed Henry's straw boater, leaving his auburn hair shining in the sun, and Caroline darted to pluck it from the surf.

    "How lucky she is to have a father who dotes on her," Mother said.

    She was entirely right, as always. But would...

About the Author-

  • Martha Hall Kelly is the New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls. She lives in Connecticut, where she spends her days filling legal pads with stories and reading World War II books.

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    November 15, 2018

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    January 15, 2019
    On the brink of World War I, three women fight internal battles on the homefront.Novelist Kelly (The Lilac Girls, 2016), who offered the perspectives of three women during World War II in her bestselling debut novel, turns back the clock to examine the lives of another female trio as the world enters the Great War. Connecting the two novels is Eliza Ferriday, the New York socialite with a heart for social justice, who is the mother of real-life Lilac heroine Caroline Ferriday. The book is a prequel, though it is a silk thread that binds the two stories. Eliza is enjoying the high life with her Manhattan and Southampton social set, making regular visits to Paris and St. Petersburg to sightsee with close friend and confidante Sofya Streshnayva as the world buzzes with talk of impending war. Eliza takes the threat more seriously than beautiful Sofya, a cousin of the Romanovs who, like most of her ilk, is living in a bubble of denial about the danger that lies ahead. When Sofya's stepmother hires Varinka Kozlov, the daughter of a local fortuneteller, she unwittingly brings trouble into their home. Although young Varinka is a kind soul, her family is closely connected to a pair of local thugs leading Bolshevik uprisings against the bourgeoisie White Russians. Soon, Sofya's family is caught in the crosshairs of a revolution, Eliza is powerless to help from New York, and Varinka must make a choice about where her loyalties lie. Though the writing is rich and vivid with detail about the period, the storytelling is quite a bit slower than in Kelly's captivating debut, and both the plot and relationship development feel secondary to the historical scene-setting.A nuanced tale that speaks to the strength of women.

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 18, 2019
    How Caroline Ferriday, the real-life character featured in Kelly’s Lilac Girls, was inspired to become an advocate for Polish refugees who survived WWII comes to light in this lively, well-researched prequel in which she appears as a child. Here the story focuses on her mother, Eliza, who set an example for her daughter by being a champion for Russian nobility brutalized during WWI. Just as the author focussed on three strong women surviving a war in her previous novel, she does the same here: in addition to Eliza, there is her aristocrat friend Sofya Streshnayva (cousin to the tsar) and a Russian peasant girl, Varinka. The author follows the trajectory of their lives from 1914 through WWI and then the Russian Revolution and its aftermath with page-tuning brio. Interweaving three story lines (Varinka ends up working for the Streshnayva household) where all three are emotionally and physically put to the test, the author depicts Eliza’s upper-class life in America and how, despite personal loss, she throws herself into helping Russian emigres; Sofya’s tragic circumstances when a rowdy, dangerous mob takes over the family’s country home; and Varinka’s struggles as a peasant girl at the mercy of a man who is both abusive and protective toward her. Some story lines strain credibility (coincidences and melodramatic cliffhangers abound) or are questionable (the prurient element involved with Varinka’s protector/abuser falls flat). Nevertheless, Kelly memorably portrays three indomitable women who triumph over hardships and successfully brings a complex and turbulent time in history to life.

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