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The Nesting Dolls

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  529 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Spanning nearly a century, from 1930s Siberia to contemporary Brighton Beach, a page turning, epic family saga centering on three generations of women in one Russian Jewish family—each striving to break free of fate and history, each yearning for love and personal fulfillment—and how the consequences of their choices ripple through time.

Odessa, 1931. Marrying the handsome,
ebook, 384 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Harper
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Thank you @goodreads, @iamalinaadams and @harpercollins #goodreadsgiveaway for sending me a uncorrected proof of The Nesting Dolls by Alina Adams.

This book took me an embarrassingly long time to read. 🤭I just didn’t feel that pull or need to pick it up. I do have a lot going on right now, so I have been breezing through more mind numbing type books instead.🤗

This book is told by three different generations of women (all of the same family):
Book 1: Daria: 1931-1941
Book 2: Natasha: 1970-1975
Book 3:
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

As a child, I was fascinated with nesting dolls. I loved their beauty and all the designs, how each doll would differ, and how they would all fit together. The Nesting Dolls is an epic in scope historical fiction novel that begins in Siberia during the 1930s and lands in contemporary Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. There are three timelines - two in Odessa in the past and the present. The women are Dvora/Daria, Natasha, and Zoe. Each character has her own “book,” and Daria’s was my favorite.
“Family saga centering on three generations of women in one Russian Jewish family” – each striving to be free from oppression and yearning for personal fulfillment.

Odessa, USSR, 1931-1941. Daria, at seventeen years old, marries an accomplished pianist. Her mother is very proud of marring Daria to the right man. Under the Soviet control, where everyone is equal, you have to weigh your words very carefully or someone may show up at your doorstep to collect you. Daria and her family are arrested an
This book's cover with historical Russian scenes embedded within a matryoshka doll outline drew me in. The story within is just as good!
Spanning a time frame from 1931 Soviet Union to 2019 Brighton Beach, this unique historical fiction explores the lives of 3 strong female characters through loyalty, secrecy, betrayal, and choices.
Daria - my favorite story in this book! Absolutely terrifying how one could easily be banished to a Siberian gulag over a trivial "transgression";
Natasha - a semi-revo
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Love is not a potato," according to Zoe's great-grandmother. "Because," Zoe's great-grandmother explains. "when love goes bad, you cannot throw it out the window."

So begins the multi-generational saga that begins in Odessa in the Soviet Union and ends in Brighton Beach in the USA. Three women are featured and all face a moment when they must choose the man they NEED, not the man they WANT. It is clear that Alina Adams is writing stories of people she knows well. Her heritage shines through and
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
Well I just loved this one! The Nesting Dolls is a great title as we open up the generations of women - these mothers, and grandmothers, and great-grandmothers and great-great grandmothers.
Sarah Beth
I received an uncorrected proof copy of this novel from HarperCollins.

This generational family saga follows three generation of women in a Russian Jewish family. While the perspective shifts over the years, the ripple effects of each woman's choices are felt over time. Opening in 1931, the story begins with Daria, whose family is crushed by Stalin's Soviet state. To survive and to save her family, Daria makes choices that dramatically alter her family's future. In 1970, her granddaughter Natash
Judy G
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I dont understand how this book reads for someone who is not somehow connected to this story of Russian Jewish people living in these times in Brighton Beach (little Odessa) and Odessa (Ukraine) and Siberia. It would be an effort to follow it to sustain interest unless a reader just paid attention to the man woman relationships.
anyway I am a Jew my family is from Odessa and I know Brighton Beach.
I am certain much of this is the story of the author as she herself came to this country from Odess
Donna Hines
Three generations of Russian/Jewish women during turbulent times lean upon their hearts, their fate, their courage.
It begins with the early 30's in Odessa Ukraine between Edward and Daria a married couple.
A couple for which Daria's mother seemed more pleased of the union than Daria who married more for money than love.
As time went on we learn Edward wanted to control Daria and she relented to the point of falling in love with another man.
When Edward learned of this he ended his own life resulti
Lake Villa District Library
Jan 22, 2021 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lake Villa District Library by: Lynn
Find this book in our catalog! ...more
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerful thought provoking family ‘coming-of-age’ drama that transports the reader from Communist Russia to the USA. Multigenerational tale of three women filled with courage & determination .. I truly enjoyed this fictional history book.
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This novel is a great story as well as an education as to what three generations of a Russian Jewish family had to face in the USSR and in their attempts to make a better life for themselves. Choices made by the three main female characters in the book are at times sad, surprising, and not always the BEST choices, but as they learn, they are often the choices they needed to make. The three main female characters, Daria, Natasha and Zoe, are all strong and decisive, however, I held back the fifth ...more
The Book Distiller
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
While this was a long and thorough family saga, I found it really interesting and engaging. The insight into Communism and Socialism is really interesting, and verifies all my thoughts on those two forms of government with dictatorships as not being conducive to citizens and the common man (look at corruption, extreme poverty, no freedoms in those countries). I really enjoyed that insight as well. Alina Adams developed her characters extremely well and provided great historical details, which I ...more
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story, covering three generations of women, begins in Odessa USSR (now Ukraine) in 1931 and concludes in Brighton Beach at the current time with the character of Zoe, who is the great great granddaughter of the first character. If I had one complaint of this novel it would be that I wanted to know more about the characters. I think I could have read a book each on each one, their lives and experiences were so intriguing. Living in Russia under communist rule was harrowing. And if you were a ...more
Nov 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: liz-ownes
This was a very interesting read following three generations of women in a family. Daria who survived the war, and a camp. Natasha who had better opportunities and not the war hanging over her head, but was not allowed to advance her studies or school as she wanted because she was Jewish. Her career and life has been decided for her, so she gets involved with a group that takes her down a dangerous path. Zoe is in current day US and still struggling with acceptance and fitting in having Jewish h ...more
Jul 17, 2020 rated it liked it
The initial description of The Nesting Dolls by Alina Adams grabbed my attention. Spanning the
life story of four generations of women in a Jewish immigrant family from the USSR, this story sounded exactly like something I would enjoy.

Adams covers a vast sweep of history ranging from prior to World War II to modern day time. She also pulls back the curtains on life in the USSR. The stories of neighbors turning each other in for alleged offenses and how your life was dictated by the government is
Maria Kuznetsova
This novel moves deftly from Odessa to Siberia to Brighton Beach, following three bold, sharp, and thoughtful women from three different generations of the same family as they navigate challenges as different as Soviet labor camps to dating a "suitable" man in New York. Though their stories were different, they all involved compelling love triangles, which made this book quite a page turner. While I loved the details of Daria's survival under the Soviet regime, and Natasha's unexpected plans for ...more
Oct 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generations of women experience trauma and shape future generations. Three stories- one set in preWWII, one during the Soviet Cold war, and the final is in the present day. Horrific accounts of deprivation and harrowing choices. It was a little hard to keep track of all the women by the end.
Dec 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first two thirds of the book was really good historical fiction. The last third was more like a predictable romance novel. Mostly good but was disappointed in the drastic change of the last third of the book
Pam Warner
Could have been a great story! Very disappointing. Very choppy writing. Not my cup of tea !
Dec 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read that spans Russia to Brighton Beach from 1930s to today. Amazed at the description of life under Soviet rule.
Gail Nelson
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I admit it. I am a Goodreads Snob. I read a lot and check for a 4.0 rating before I choose a book. This book caught my eye and I decided to give it a chance. Happy to say that I really enjoyed it. So much for ratings...
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
The title is apt. This is a matriarchal tale following five generations of women from Odessa to Brighton Beach with a side trip to Siberia. The book begins in 1931 with Daria whose mother is determined will have a “better life”. The next two sections focus on others in the line who are striving for their own “better lives”. It touches on issues love, loyalty and what one does to survive. The time span is quiet interesting, going from Stalin to Putin. The characters are distinctive and memorable. ...more
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the 'nesting dolls' metaphor for the generations of familial women. It fit perfectly in the story line.
Jennifer Schultz
Read if you: Love historical epics that follow a family through multiple generations.

A historical fiction book set in Russia? I'm in. However, until recently, that seems to give me a story about the Romanovs or set during the Revolution. This follows the women in one Russian Jewish family, beginning in the Stalin era and ending in 2019's Brighton Beach.

WIth historical epics like this--that feature multiple characters in multiple time frames--I tend to favor one character or part over the others
Elaine Young
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this beautifully written historical novel that captivated me right from the start. The Nesting
Dolls written by Alina Adams is an epic family saga that spans from 1930 in Siberia through the 1970's
when Russian Jews weren't allowed to emigrate from the Soviet Union, to contemporary Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. It explores socialism and communism and it follows three generations of headstrong women in the same Russian Jewish family. These women, Daria, Natasha, and Zoe each face different ha
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: july-2020
Now is the time to read The Nesting Dolls, Alina Adams' captivating multigenerational saga of Russian women from the early 20th century to today. It serves as a reminder that people live through horrible events perpetrated on them by their governments. Who knew that we in the United States would suffer through the whims of a dictator? For this, they left the Soviet Union?

Daria's mother wants the very best available for her beautiful daughter in 1918 in Russia. She parades her, cleavage on displa
Enchanted Prose
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The trauma of Russian Jewish oppression passed down five generations (Odessa, Ukraine and a Siberian labor camp, USSR, 1931 to 1975; Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, 2019): The catchy title of Russian-American Alina Adams’ sweeping historical family tale comes from the brightly painted, wooden Russian female dolls ranging in size from larger to smaller, each fitting inside another. Representing motherhood, they also represent four of the five Russian Jewish female characters, all mothers from different ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
This story draws the reader into the lives of Jewish Russian Ukrainian women through six generations. The Russian Soviet culture is about survival amidst silence. It is surprising anyone survived Siberia or Stalin's reign. Survived these women did. There are times the story drags because the character needs to figure things out and the reader needs to allow the character to self learn at times it appears so obvious but the character's heart can't be moved. This book in story form helps one under ...more
This is a multigenerational story that begins in the USSR and ends in Brighton Beach, New York, after the family emigrates in the 1970s. I didn't know a lot of the USSR history; and that part was really interesting. It starts with Daria, who lives in Odessa and marries an internationally famous pianist. She, her husband, and her two daughters are relocated to Siberia. Daria's daughter is Alyssa, and Alyssa ends up living in Odessa with her husband and daughter Natasha. Natasha is the one who get ...more
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Alina Adams is Jewish, lives on the East Coast, married with two kids and is the author of Berkley Prime Crime's "Figure Skating Mysteries," including "Murder on Ice," "On Thin Ice," and coming in January 2006 "Axel of Evil!" ...more

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