Book author: Amor Towles
A Gentleman in Moscow was so engaging and masterfully written, I did not want it to end.Click To Tweet
In 1922 at age 30, the protagonist, Russian Count Alexander Rostov, finds himself sentenced by a Bolshevik tribunal to house arrest for the crime of being an unrepentant aristocrat. His reputation and popularity allow him to escape execution, but he must move from an elegant suite in a grand hotel across from the Kremlin—the Metropol—to one of its attic rooms. He may not step outside the hotel doors without risk of being shot.
The Count’s immense charm, remarkable wit, and indomitable spirit serve him well as he adapts to his new circumstances and discovers ways to expand his horizons. He makes fast friends with many unlikely characters, many of whom are as memorable as the Count himself.
It is the precocious and delightfully eccentric child Nina who introduces the Count to the hidden secrets of the hotel: closets, stairways, hidden passages, and other delightful resources. He finds love with a capricious actress and develops an unlikely friendship with a Bolshevik officer. Years go by, but when he suddenly finds himself responsible for the fate of a young girl, he discovers a new sense of purpose in life.
The reader gets a well-researched glimpse of Russia from 1922 to 1954: the danger, the cruelty, and the strain of living in a turbulent time when your choice of friends or books could get you killed or banished to Siberia. Most of all, it renders beautifully the power of the human spirit to rise above circumstances with grace and humor and to find a life of meaning through serving others.
This is the perfect book to read—or reread— in 2020, because Count Rostov is such a marvelous role model for resilience under bad circumstances that he can inspire us to be our best selves—always a goal in the Heartspoken life—within the constraints and limitations of life during a pandemic.Count Rostov (A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles) is such a marvelous role model for resilience under bad circumstances that he can inspire us to be our best selves.Click To Tweet
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