Monday, March 20, 2023

BLOG TOUR -The Last Russian Doll

The Last Russian Doll
Author:  Kristen Loesch
Publisher:   Berkley
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   384
Date of Publication:   March 14, 2023
My Rating:   4 Stars 


A haunting, epic novel about betrayal, revenge, and redemption that follows three generations of Russian women, from the 1917 revolution to the last days of the Soviet Union, and the enduring love story at the center.

In a faraway kingdom, in a long-ago land...

...a young girl lived happily in Moscow with her family: a sister, a father, and an eccentric mother who liked to tell fairy tales and collect porcelain dolls.

One summer night, everything changed, and all that remained of that family were the girl and her mother.

Now, a decade later and studying at Oxford University, Rosie has an English name, a loving fiancĂ©, and a promising future, but all she wants is to understand--and bury--the past. After her mother dies, Rosie returns to Russia, armed with little more than her mother’s strange folklore--and a single key.

What she uncovers is a devastating family history that spans the 1917 Revolution, the siege of Leningrad, Stalin’s purges, and beyond.

At the heart of this saga stands a young noblewoman, Tonya, as pretty as a porcelain doll, whose actions—and love for an idealistic man—will set off a sweeping story that reverberates across the century....

This book is a historical fiction that is a dual timeline, 1917 and 1991. It is about a woman named Rosie who is trying to find out more about her history after her mother dies. The story has to do with a porcelain doll and it’s just really intriguing Russian history. It’s quite tragic, and has a lot to do with stories that were told to Rosie in a fairytale-like fashion, but the Russian revolution was afoot when the story goes back to the past (character is Tonya ), and then we see what’s going on in the present as Rosie tries to figure out not only her past, but where her life will go in the future. 

This is a very well-told tale where the past is explored in a rather tragic fashion. For Rosie, her past was quite troubled. Things were difficult between her and her mother. After her mother’s death, she has decided to go back to her roots in Russia to learn about her own past and how Russian dolls play into that past. With regard to Tonya, the story shifts back to 1915 when everything about Tonya’s life underwent many difficulties. 

What a powerful story! History has always been one of my very favorite subjects, and this book was one that gave me early insight into Russian history. I loved how the story was told, and the dual timeline fashion only made it that much more interesting. If a reader is not fond of history and how it in this case affected the lives of the principal characters, then this book might be a tough read. But for me, it hit the mark. 

Many thanks to Berkley and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


Kristen Loesch grew up in San Francisco. She holds a BA in History, as well as a Master’s degree in Slavonic Studies from the University of Cambridge. Her debut historical novel, THE LAST RUSSIAN DOLL, was shortlisted for the Caledonia Novel Award and longlisted for the Bath Novel Award under a different title. After a decade living in Europe, she now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children.

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