Skip to main content

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

The Lost Season of Love and Snow
Author: Jennifer Laam
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Pages: 344
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: 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 beguiling age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. At her first public ball during the Christmas of 1828, she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya is swept up in a courtship and then a marriage full of passion but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads Alexander to defend his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, he tragically succumbs to his injuries. Natalya finds herself reviled for her perceived role in his death. In her striking new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, Jennifer Laam helps bring Natalya’s side of the story to life with vivid imagination—the compelling tale of her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court and that of her greatest love.

     My Review: The Lost Season of Love and Snow is a biographical novel about Natalya Goncharova, the wife of Alexander Pushkin. At the age of sixteen, Natalya is beautiful and wants to write poetry. At her first ball, she attracts the attention of the most famous poet in Russia, Alexander Pushkin. She finds herself falling in love with him because of his writing and manages to persuade her reluctant mother to marry him. However, she soon finds that her marriage is not all rosy. Natalya finds that there are people who are jealous of her because of her beauty. When her enemies spread rumors about Natalya’s unfaithfulness, Natalya must find a way to keep these rumors from tearing Natalya and Alexander apart.

   I admit that I did not know anything about Natalya or Alexander Pushkin until I started to read this novel. However, gaining from what I know from the book and my own research that began as I started reading The Lost Season of Love and Snow, Natalya is known as a femme fatale. She has been mostly disliked in history because of her alleged affair with George d’Anthes, drove her husband to a duel in her honor, and caused him to lose his life. The Lost Season of Love and Snow attempts to redeem her and show the story from her perspective.

  While the novel tries to portray Natalya as a sympathetic and misunderstood character, I did not see her as such. I found Natalya to be a very frustrating character, and I could see why she is regarded as a villain in Russian history. Natalya is portrayed as a vain and superficial character. She wants nothing more than to dress up as ancient beauties, have fun at balls, and wants men to admire her. In fact, she does not want her admirers to love anyone but her for the rest of their lives. She loves to toy with men’s feelings. Thus, even though she claims to love Alexander, it is obvious she does not. Instead, she only wants Alexander to worship her. If she actually loved him, she would not have hurt Alexander by flirting and toying with other men’s affections.

   Overall, this was not a deep, but superficial portrayal of Natalya Pushkin. The characters are not complex, but rather static characters. The writing was beautiful but sometimes repetitive. I also thought the epilogue, where she meets her second husband, was a bit jarring and off-putting because it was supposed to focus on her “love” with Alexander. I think it would have been better if it was only mentioned in the author’s novel. Thus, I would have enjoyed the novel more had the characters been more complex and the epilogue ended differently. Therefore I think that this novel did not do Natalya justice. However, I’m glad that that the novel has introduced me to this intriguing figure and hope there may be more books written about her. The Lost Season of Love and Snow may appeal to readers of Michelle Moran, Sallie Christie, and Marci Jefferson.

Rating: 2½ out of 5 stars

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

Blog Tour: Peccadillo at the Palace (An Annie Oakley Mystery #2) by Kari Bovee: A Book Review

  Join us for this tour from Jan 10 to Feb 4 ,  2022 ! Book Details: Book Title : Peccadillo at the Palace (An Annie Oakley Mystery) by Kari Bovee Category :  Adult Fiction (18 + yrs), 332 pages Length: 9 hours, 52 minutes Genre :  Historical Mystery, Cozy Mystery Publisher :  Bosque Publishing Release date:    April 2020 ​ Formats available for review : audiobook (audible download), MOBI (for kindle), EPUB, PDF) Tour dates : Jan 10 to Feb 4, 2022 Content Rating :  PG +M for mature themes, mild swearing Book Description:      She’s outgunned her opponents at every turn, but will it be enough to solve a royal case of murder? Annie Oakley can’t believe her good fortune at an imperial invitation.      Queen Victoria wants Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show to perform for her Golden Jubilee. But during the voyage to England, a royal escort is murdered and the gun-slinging star finds herself at the center of an assassination plot against the crown.      Determined to catc