Author Kate Furnivall has written an utterly engrossing story of Valentina Ivanova, a daughter to the finance minister to Tsar Nicholas II, set in St....moreAuthor Kate Furnivall has written an utterly engrossing story of Valentina Ivanova, a daughter to the finance minister to Tsar Nicholas II, set in St. Petersburg during a time of great civil unrest in Russia’s history. The working class and poor are getting more desperate every day as they fight starvation and disease or get injured, maimed or killed at the un-safe factories they are forced to work in while the upper class grow more rich and spend more extravagantly. The Revolutionaries are killing off government officials left and right and Valentina’s father is among the targets.
Valentina, though born in the upper class, is more interested in taking care of people than of dresses and parties and dreams of one day becoming a nurse. She is a bright, strong-willed girl whom I liked immediately and the rest of the characters were just as engaging - the endearing engineer, Jens; Arkin, the Revolutionary with a heart, Valentina’s sad mother Elizaveta and her unfortunate sister Katya. With exceptional descriptions of 20th century St. Petersburg, from the opulent homes of the Russian nobility to the squalid homes of the working class and the underground tunnels beneath the city, Furnivall draws the reader in and the fast-paced action keeps you flipping the pages quickly to see what happens next.
Having thoroughly enjoyed my first book by Kate Furnivall, I am now on a mission to own them all! If you like your historical fiction exciting, enthralling and unputdownable, then this is the book for you!
Valentina’s story doesn’t end here, check out The Russian Concubine, which is the sequel to The Jewel of St. Petersburg and tells the story of Valentina’s daughter.(less)