A Gentleman in Moscow
Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced by the Bolsheviks to house arrest in a luxury hotel called the Metropol in 1922. Exiled from his opulent rooms into attic quarters, the Count spends his days dining in the various hotel restaurants, where he eventually meets Nina, a 9 year old girl who also lives in the hotel. Nina loves involving the Count in her capers and the two become fast friends and confidantes.
As the years continue and the Count spends decades in the hotel, he learns to make a new life for himself within the confining walls. His life has changed drastically, but he is able to carve out a content life for himself with an interesting collection on friends and acquaintances.
This was the book my family and I chose for our September Book of the Month Club pick. I’ll be honest, I would have read it either way because I loved Rules of Civility so much, and I was over the moon when I saw it was a BOTM choice.
The atmosphere of A Gentleman in Moscow was very compelling. A count living in an opulent Russian hotel–the setting was just superb. I was worried with it being a 450+ book that the lack of different settings would become tiresome, but it really didn’t.
As wonderful as the setting was, Towles really shines when it comes to character development. I saw another reader comment that they would love to sit down and have dinner with the Count. I love that, it’s so true. He’s just such contemplative character with so many great stories to tell. And I loved the characters of Nina (especially) and Sophia. They added an impish element to the book that made it fun to read.
I do think the book was a bit lengthy. And I have been warning family and friends that it is a book you really have to sink your teeth into and devote good chunks of time to. It was a labor of love to read, and I mean that in a positive way. One of my sisters wanted to take it on her honeymoon and I told her not to, only because I felt that with the stress leading up to her wedding, and then all the distractions that come along with a trip, it wasn’t an ideal book to bring along. I don’t feel that way about many modern books but this one is an exception for me.
If you’ve read A Gentleman in Moscow, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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