Welcome to Book Lovers Paradise

Welcome to my attempt at blogging. I am a true to heart bibliophile. Here I will discuss and review books as I read them. You are welcome to do the same. The only rules are no profanity, no politics, no religion, and have fun!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great
by Eva Stachniak
Published by Random House
release date January 10,2012
received from NetGalley for review

 I requested this book from Net Galley to compare with Robert Massie's Catherine the Great.  I found it is not a fair comparison.  While Massie's book focused on Catherine (born Sophie) and her family, Ms. Stachniak's book was from the viewpoint of a servant named Vavara and not actually about Catherine the Great.  I think the title of the book is misleading. This book was vastly different, but in it's own way, just as pleasurable.

The book is from the viewpoint of Vavara, daughter of a Polish bookbinder.  She becomes orphaned and because of a promise the Empress Elizabeth (leader of Russia daughter of Peter the Great) made to the bookbinder, she ends up a servant in Elizabeth's household.  She becomes a spy for the Empress.  She is to spy on the young German Princess Sophie (later Catherine).  A friendship and close bond forms between the two despite their ages and social positions.

I love historical fiction and I love anything to do with the Russian Imperial family.  While reading this book, I felt as if I was actually a spectator in the Russian court, a visitor with inside knowledge of the machinations of the court players.  Yes, the descriptive powers of the author are that good!

This was a very well written  and well researched book.  It was able to hold my attention from beginning to end.  I hope the author actually decides to write a book featuring Catherine herself.  I would be first in line to buy it!

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