A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles
Following the life of Count Rostov who, as an aristocrat of the old regime, is granted imprisonment in Moscow’s finest hotel when the Bolshevik regime takes over. The story follows his life of forty years within the hotel’s walls. Two girls come into his life in the hotel, first Nina who has too little parental oversight and an enquiring mind. Over the years she lives at The Metropol hotel, she and the Count have many an adventure and he opens her eyes to the vast knowledge in the world. Then, a few years later, Nina drops her daughter off with the count, and is unable to return, and the Count raises Sophie as his own, navigating hotel and national politics as a father.
Towles has a beautiful gift for building realistic characters and offering insights into their hearts. You grow to love the characters of this book and their small adventures draw you in. Towles also crafted a beautiful and quiet examination of the changing politics of Russia throughout the twentieth century and how the policies affected Russia’s citizens. I wouldn’t really call this one a page turner, or even deeply engaging, but it was quietly beautiful and delightfully charming, and much like real life, it packed big heart into everyday moments. Highly recommend.