Review: Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly

Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Ballantine Books

The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, 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.

It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorker's treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov's. 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. 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 fortuneteller'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 to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre's who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history.

My Review


'Men may leave, but books will always remain true."

I've been wanting to read Martha Hall Kelly ever since The Lilac Girls was released and the reading community went crazy over it. So when I received the email from Suzy asking to host this blog tour, I did a little happy dance and immediately signed on! I am so glad that I did!

Lost Roses is based on the true story of Eliza Ferriday, the mother of Caroline Ferriday who is featured in The Lilac Girls. In Lost Roses, we follow three women - Eliza, her close friend and cousin to the Russian tsar Nicolas II, Sofya, and Varinka, who works for Sofya and takes care of her son.

With Sofya's story we are witness to the danger that the aristocracy is in from the the Bolshevik Revolution. Protests and violence are rampant, and the family are trying to plan an escape out of Russia.

Eliza is from a prosperous family and lives on Long Island. She becomes passionate about the "White Russian" women -- Russian aristocrats who were driven out by the Bolsheviks and are now in America, with no money or resources.

Varinka, a young, poor Russian woman who lives with her mother who is a fortune teller. She is hired by Sofya's family and is charged with taking care of her young son.

The author notes that she traveled from Russia to Southampton in New York, and Paris to research for the book and it's apparent to the reader that a lot of work went into writing this novel, yet it's not heavy handed with history. I loved that as readers we get to see the events take place through three different points of view. I feel like it gave a well-rounded view of what happened. 

With impeccable writing, fascinating and strong women, and enough danger and action to keep me turning the pages, I absolutely loved Lost Roses!

Lost Roses is the perfect example and masterful historical fiction. I can't wait for more from Martha Hall Kelly! Now I'm off to read The Lilac Girls 😍

About The Author

Martha is a native New Englander who lives in Connecticut and Martha's Vineyard. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years, raised three wonderful children who are now mostly out of the nest and Lilac Girls is her first novel. She has been hard at work on the prequel to Lilac Girls, Lost Roses, which features Caroline's mother Eliza Ferriday and her fight to save a group of Russian women, former aristocrats who lost everything in the Russian Revolution.

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Bloggers on Tour

January 14th- Prose and Palate

January 14th -Jennifer Tar Heel Reader

January 15th- Sue’s Booking Agency

January 17th– Nerdy Book Nurse

January 18th- Marisa Gothie

January 20th- Sweet Honey And Brei

January 21st- BookWorm Mommy of 3

January 24th – Lindas Book Obsession

January 25th – Hollys Dressed To Read

January 29th – Midwest Ladies Who Lit

February 4th- Reading With Champagne

February 7th– Sue Roberts

February 10th –Audio Killed The Bookmark

February 13th- RW Book Club Goodreads

February 15th – Hemy’s Book Club

February 16th- Courtney Turns The Page

February 19th – In Literary Love

February 22nd-Really Into This

February 25th- Thoughts On This ‘N That

February 27th- The Book Club Mom

March 1st– One More Paige

Martha Hall Kelly will be touring for Lost Roses. Check out the schedule below to see if she's coming to a bookstore near you!

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