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The Summer Day is Done

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  95 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
When young British agent John Kirby comes to Russia in 1911 he is there to work and to explore a new and exciting country. He does not expect to fall in love, but an invitation to a ball from the Tsar changes all that and, after an evening of dancing and romance, John and the Tsar's eldest daughter, Olga, are totally captivated by one another.

Soon John is spending more tim
Paperback, 576 pages
Published July 16th 2009 by Corgi (first published 1976)
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Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy Humor, Russia, Romanovs and Historical Fiction
Recommended to Tweety by: Dorcas
Why did I ever wait to read this book? (Since I'm not sure what to say, I'll leave it as is)

I don't know what to begin with, I loved every page, the sad along with the funny, the history and the fiction. I wouldn't change a thing. Even though it's about the Romanovs, we still get a semi happy ending, about as happy as it could be. And, I enjoyed the journey there, which is even better.

John (Ivan) was a remarkable hero, he kept a brave face even when faced with a completely impossible love, Olga.
They were strangers, eyes meeting in a sea of faces at a train station, but it was love at first sight...
Thus begins the tragic love story of John Kirby (Ivan Ivanovich) and Grand Duchess Olga. They were worlds apart in station but together in soul.

I found this story so GOOD. Yes, its fiction. But in real life stranger things do happen. So it didn't feel super far fetched. When we first meet John he is a British spy (but not against Russia or the Tsar). He eventually meets the Romanov family, be
Sep 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the book jacket:

"Grand Duchesses are not destined to share their lives with untitled Englishmen. Glorious summer days do not last forever. The memories, however, do linger."

At the core this is a very simple story, that of John Kirby who has spent the last few years exploring Russia and its culture (he's really a spy for the British government). John's travels bring him to the Crimea as a guest of Princess Aleka Petrovna. The Imperial family is in residence at Livadia Palace and give a ball
The story itself is decent if not inspiring or memorable, and the writing delivers, but the characterisation is lacking. The main protagonist, John Kirby, is rather shallowly constructed, and the Russian characters are caricature-like, because of how exaggeratedly emotional, whimsy and flighty they are; probably the author was going for something like the classic Russian writers portray their characters, but without the same charm or dexterity for developing them up well. The Romanovs? They're s ...more
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the sweetest loves stories I have ever read. I read this about ten years ago and loved it and I felt it was time to read it again. It is a haunting story of a forbidden love between the agent of the British king and the daughter of the Imperial Tsar. I have always had an interest in the Romanov family and in this book the author does a wonderful job of helping the reader fall in love with them. It is a must read.
V. Gingerich
I gave this four stars because it was my favorite book for a couple of years as a teen. I sobbed over it and reread choice parts and sobbed harder. Recently, I read it again and wondered why I'd loved it so, though I still enjoyed it and will probably read it again in a few years. There are a few risqué parts but I especially like the historical tidbits and the glimpse into the world of Russia's last czar.
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorite books as a teen--a sweet, historical romance involving doomed love, war, and a fair number of tissues before the end.

I wasn't sure it would hold up to re-reading as an adult, but I had just finished a book about the Romonov Sisters and so it seemed like a natural follow-up. The writing is just superb--witty and intelligent; not at all like many of the romances that are cranked out for mass consumption today. The story is just as thrilling and emotional as it was when
Anne Harvey
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mary Jane Staples' books are always witty and humorous and this one is no exception. Yet it's also hauntingly poignant and I needed a couple of tissues at its ending. When British agent, John Kirby, meets the Imperial family of Russia in 1911, he is immediately entranced with Olga, the eldest Romanov daughter. The scenes with all the Romanov children are entrancing and, although you know there can be no happy ending at least for John and Olga, the love between them is innocently tender and touch ...more
Oct 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read. I did like the development of all the characters and the author's style. I certainly appreciated the romance although I hoped for a bit more of a breathtaking climax. I felt it was hard to really appreciate the main characters emotions and feelings as easily as it was to relate to some of the female characters.
These types of novels are always pleasant reads - in this one, an Englishman is posted in Russia and ends up meeting and becoming friends with the Imperial Family, at the end of their reign. Sweet story, nicely sweeping history, and - with much of the action being set in Yalta - the perfect Sochi Olympics read.
Dec 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't the greatest book ever written but I read it as a child (the first time) and it piqued my interest in pre-Revolutionary Russia. To do that for a pre-teen is saying something. Maybe it is just me but I really liked it.
Read this when I was high school - cried when it ended - one of my very favorite books from that wonderful time in my life!
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in my mom's library and was enchanted from the first page. Great historical romance, even knowing how it will end!
Saturday's Child
An English spy meeting and falling madly in love with a Russian Royal Princess. An interesting plot that caught my attention but did not live up to my expectation of it.
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Mary Jane Staples is a pseudonym used by British author Reginald Thomas Staples (1911-2005). He is also published under the name Robert Tyler Stevens, R.T. Stevens, and James Sinclair.
More about Mary Jane Staples...