Daily Archives: May 12, 2018

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Another bookgroup book, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, was interesting and enjoyable.

The book opens with Elena Richardson walking through her burning house wondering where her children are, then realizing they are all accounted for goes outside to watch her home in Shaker Heights, Ohio burn down.

The book then goes back a few months when Elena first meets Mia and her daughter, Pearl,  who are renting an apartment from Elna.

The book then goes on to describe the various relationships her family creates with the new tenants.

While I enjoyed this book, it was sometimes hard to read because Ng is so open with the characters’ faults.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I absolutely loved A Gentleman in Moscow. It was chosen as a future read for my bookgroup and while I was not excited by the title, I loved it almost as soon as I began reading. I forced myself to read slowly to savor the writing and the life of Alexander Rostov.

The book begins in 1922 when youngish Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to live the rest of his life in Moscow’s Metropol hotel because he is an aristocrat. His life was spared because of a revolutionary poem attributed to him, but if he steps foot outside the Metropol he is told he will be shot on sight.

Rostov meets many interesting people including the daughter of a revolutionary (and later her daughter), a famous film actress, and a Soviet official,  all of whom enrich or even save, his life in one way or another.  He lives a surprising full life within the walls of the hotel.

The history of Russia and the Soviet Union is told as background to the book.

I ended up falling in love with Alexander Rostov a little bit. His gentlemanly ways will be with me for years to come.