Marissa's Reviews > The Madonnas of Leningrad

The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean
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Oct 29, 2007

liked it

I read this one for my book club and was not blown away, sorry to say. The bones of the story are good--great concept, some wonderful images, etc, but overall, nothing spectacular. I was let down by the ending--there seemed to be many pieces left dangling.

My favorite image came toward the end when Marina, the main character, starving in the winter in Leningrad, is walking through the snow to get back to the museum where she is staying. People in the city are starving also, dying in the streets, literally, and Marina has risked her life to retrieve one chocolate bar (no smirking here--I know my favorite scene is about chocolate, whatever!). On her way back, she almost trips on a figure fallen in the snow, a starving woman who is very close to death. Marina places one precious piece of chocolate in this woman's mouth and moves on. The scene is well-crafted and poingnant.

So, hmmm...it was okay. Maybe I'll like it better after the group gets together to discuss it, but the general consensus thus far is just okay.
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