Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book Review ~ The Midwife of St. Petersburg

 Karena Peshkova is a young Russian landowner's daughter who dreams of following in her mother's footsteps and becoming a midwife and nurse.  Unfortunately, her admittance to medical school is being hindered by the fact that her family has Jewish roots.  

While visiting her cousin who moves in high society Russia, Karena meets a Colonel in the Russian army, who it is said might be her cousin's fiance in the near future.  But sparks fly, good and bad, between Karena and the Aleksnadr Kronstadt.  Leaving Kazan, Karena thinks she will never see the Colonel again, but as Russia moves into turbulent times, her family comes under investigation when her brother becomes involved with the Bolshevik uprising and Karena and her mother must flee the family farm.  As Alex faces his feelings for Karena he must risk his own military career in order to keep her safe and hopefully have a future with her.

This book started off a bit slow for me but really started to pick up once past the first chapter or so.  It was interesting that I picked this up soon after I read "The Kitchen Boy" (review #11) as it is written about the same time period.  This book was also rich in historical detail and while the Kitchen Boy dealt mostly with the Romanov families last days, this story filled in a few details of the uprising and turbulent time that brought the Tsar down.  

The fictional story was very interesting and the growing attraction between the main characters was sweet.  The tension from the events surrounding the uprising and how the family was dragged into it really kept this book a page turner for me.  However, there was many loose ends left at the end of the story.  It's like it was written with a part 2 in mind but no part 2 is there that I can find.  It's unfortunate, because I would have loved to have found out what happened to each character.  The author wrote the characters so well and I really became invested in them as the story went on.  In the end, I felt like I was left hanging with so many things left unresolved.  Still I really enjoyed the story though to me it was not a stand alone story left as it was.

For more of my reviews on The Spring Reading Thing and books I've read this year go here.


Faith said...

Oh Susanne, I would LOVE this book!!! I am putting it on my list of books to find in the library for summer. Perhaps the author is in the process of writing book 2?? Is it a fairly recent book?? Sounds great....i love russian historical fiction...

nikkipolani said...

Well, looks like Blogger is back online! Finally. The book's premise sounds intriguing, Susanne. I appreciated your impressions of the ending and how it left you searching for the sequel.