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Monday, January 15, 2018

Book Review:The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam

02_The Lost Season of Love and Snow
The Lost Season of Love and Snow
by Jennifer Laam
e-Book, 352 pages
St. Martin’s Press
January 2, 2018
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Genre: Historical Fiction

Source: Received from publisher for review tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

The unforgettable story of Alexander Pushkin’s beautiful wife, Natalya, a woman much admired at Court, and how she became reviled as the villain of St. Petersburg.

At the age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. But while she finds joy in French translations and a history of Russian poetry, her family is more concerned with her marriage prospects. It is only fitting that during the Christmas of 1828 at her first public ball in her hometown of Moscow she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin.

Enchanted at first sight, Natalya is already a devoted reader of Alexander’s serialized novel in verse, Evgeny Onegin. The most recently published chapter ends in a duel, and she is dying to learn what happens next. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya hopes to see him again as soon as possible.

What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death. With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story—the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court.

I always find novels set in Russia to be refreshing – a bit of history that I am least familiar with and it always presents a new time period or historical figure to me that I know nothing about. The fact that a historical novel is set in Russia will give me an immediate interest in picking it up to learn more. More than simply bringing me a new historical figure, Laam brings a literary figure who I know nothing but the name coming into the reading experience – Alexander Pushkin, and by extension his wife. I also love novels that look at an event from a distinctly female perspective, especially when it is one that tends to be male-driven.

In some ways, this book reminds me a bit of The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner. A female character, this time one that isn’t that well known, who is reviled for her actions and she is trying to sort of set the record straight with her side of the story. Natalya has her own set of circumstances that she is up against from the beginning, her goals don’t exactly align with those of her mother or sisters, and she has to push back to get what she wants or what she thinks she wants. I found her enjoyment of the literary things in life to be something that I could particularly connect with and I was able to quickly understand who she was. Even throughout the novel, as things became more difficult in her life, I could still find myself identifying with her. She may have been a little na├»ve at times, but from Laam’s presentation at least, she doesn’t seem to have been responsible for a lot of what happened – but we know women take a lot of blame throughout history.

Jennifer Laam’s writing is beautiful. It flows naturally from one thought or scene into the next effortlessly. I felt I was on a constant wave throughout my time spent with the book, being continually pushed forward. You can easily get caught up in the whirlwind of it all as there is drama aplenty in the Pushkin world. The Russia of that time brilliantly came to life right from the pages and enveloped me in that world.

I have Laam’s other two novels and I am sliding them higher up the TBR pile based on my experience with The Lost Season of Love and Snow.

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also by Jennifer Laam:

the secret daughter of the tsar
The Secret Daughter of the Tsar

the tsarinas legacy
The Tsarina’s Legacy

Find Jennifer Laam: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Tour Wide Giveaway

As part of the tour I have the opportunity to share the Tour Wide Giveaway.  Up for grabs are 2 paperback copies of The Lost Season of Love and Snow! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.  If you have any questions please contact the HFVBT tour coordinator. Good luck!

Giveaway Rules

  • Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on January 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
  • Giveaway is open to US only.
  • Only one entry per household.
  • All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
  • Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Lost Season of Love and Snow

Follow the Tour!

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On the HFVBT Website or on Twitter: #TheLostSeasonofLoveandSnowBlogTour

Monday, January 8
Review at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, January 9
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Wednesday, January 10
Review at Creating Herstory

Thursday, January 11
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, January 12
Feature at Passages to the Past

Monday, January 15
Review at The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, January 16
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, January 17
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, January 18
Review at Peppermint Ph.D.
Review at Just One More Chapter

Copyright © 2018 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Wonderful review, Heather! Thank you so much for hosting Jennifer's Blog Tour & sharing your review with your lovely readers!

    HF Virtual Book Tours

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