The Jewel of St. Petersburg

Kate Furnivall, Berkley, $15 paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-425-23423-5
Beginning in the lead-up to the Bolshevik uprising, Furnivall's sure-to-please prequel to her successful The Russian Concubine centers on Valentina Ivanova, the daughter of a minister in Tsar Nicholas's crumbling regime. When revolutionaries bomb her father's home, leaving her sister crippled and her world uncertain, Valentina must search for her path in life: should she submit to the unloving arranged marriage her controlling father wants, or should she pursue her scandalous (for noble ladies) dream of becoming a nurse? To complicate matters, Valentina falls for Jens Friis, a Danish engineer who is politically moderate, intensely passionate, and completely off limits. Furnivall skillfully intertwines historical fact with a heartfelt love story and ends where Russian Concubine picks up. This will be a delight for Furnivall's fans, and equally a joy for those new to her work. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/28/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
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