20181227_150647.jpgHappy Monday!  Welcome to my stop on the Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly blog tour sponsored by Suzy Approved Book Tours! Lost Roses will be published on April 9, 2019 via Random House/Ballantine Books! Kelly’s debut, Lilac Girls, is on my favorites’ list and will forever be one of the best works of historical fiction I’ve read, so you can imagine I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for her newest work…and to find out it’s a prequel to Lilac Girls- ah-may-zing news! Please read on to see what I thought!

My Thoughts:

Lilac Girls is one of my favorite historical fiction reads, and HF is my favorite genre. In Lilac Girls, Martha Hall Kelly gave us Caroline Ferriday as a real life heroine of her time during World War II. Lost Roses is Caroline’s mother’s story, along with two other women affected by World War I. 

In 1914, Germany is gaining power and war is possibly on the horizon. Eliza Ferriday travels to St. Petersburg, Russia with Sofya Streshnayva, a Romanov cousin. Eliza and Sofya’s close friendship is formed years prior while the pair lived in Paris. 

While Eliza’s in Russia, Austria declares war on Serbia, and Russia’s tsar is likely to fall. She flees safely to the United States but wishes she could have brought Sofya and her family with her. 

Sofya’s family must flee the city to the family’s country manor because a revolution is on the brink. They hire Varinka, a young peasant girl, to serve in their household, but she brings danger along with her. 

Across the world, Eliza is doing everything she can to help Russians escape the revolution, when suddenly she stops hearing from Sofya. 

The book travels between the US, St. Petersburg, and Paris, and illuminates the places and their people during this time of strife, violence, and uncertainty. 

Martha Hall Kelly’s storytelling is just as captivating and alluring as it was with Lilac Girls. Eliza Ferriday is a strong, formidable character, and Sofya and Varinka’s stories will break your heart for different reasons. 

There was a poignant moment when Sofya looked down at her young son Max after seeing a starving peasant baby, and she reflected on Max’s luck of being born to her into her family of wealth.  The tables are turned on Sofya and her family, and I think about that all the time- the luck one has to be born in whatever country- one that has freedoms, or one that is filled with every day war and danger. 

Lost Roses is the glorious story of the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka. Even though Eliza and Sofya are born privileged, they never lose sight of how they can help others, and there is unequivocal beauty in that and honesty in how Kelly depicts it. This is the perfect book to get lost in. The storytelling grabs you and won’t let go. 

Thanks to Suzy Approved Book Tours, the author, and publisher for the complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. 


The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.

It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorker’s treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov’s. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.

From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre’s who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history. (less)

Have you read The Lost Roses, or is it on your TBR? Have you read Lilac Girls? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR