My Rating: 5 Stars!
Book & Author: A Gentleman in Moscow/ Amor Towles
Oh my gosh! What a brilliant book! I had read amazing reviews about this book on my Goodreads book club, and as luck would have it, was able to pick this up for my destination challenge for Russia- and just absolutely loved it!
This is a book to curl up and read during Christmas- because it signifies all things good about Christmas. Hope, love, kindness, amazing food, the importance of family and friends, and the joy of music, books, coffee- basically all things that make this life worth living.
There are some amazing thoughts in this book, but the one that is central to the book and its characters is this one:
If a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.
If you have watched ‘Its a wonderful life’ or ‘Shawshank Redemption’ and loved it, then this is the book for you. And it isn’t even sad- it ends on such a happy note and although there are some negative characters in the book, they just don’t have the power to overpower all the other good things in the book.
Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is sentenced to a life of house arrest in the Metropol hotel in Moscow. He is then stripped of his title and his elegant suite and moved into a small room in the basement of the hotel. This beginning would seem like a sad story of survival, but don’t just give up then. What unfolds in the Count’s life after this event, makes him the luckiest man alive in Russia (as mentioned by his dearest friend Mishka). I don’t want to give away any more details, because I want you to read this book and enjoy it for yourself, but I have to say, that all the characters in the book- The Count, Andrey, Emile, Mishka, Anna, Nina, Marina, Sophia, Osip, the American, and even the Bishop- have made a mark on my memories and are going to stay in there for a long time. Oh how I wish I could see all the characters again in the Metropol hotel in a movie or even in real life:)
Some of my favorite quotes from the book:
For what the Lord giveth, is precisely what he cometh later to taketh away.
Of course, the Count was perfectly right. For when life makes it impossible for a man to pursue his dreams, he will connive to pursue them anyway.
If you are ever in doubt, just remember that unlike adults, children want to be happy. So they still have the ability to take the greatest pleasure in the simplest things.
As at home in tin as it is in Limoges, coffee can energize the industrious at dawn, calm the reflective at noon, or raise the spirits of the beleagured in the middle of the night.
By their very nature, human beings are so capricious, so complex, so delightfully contradictory, that they deserve not only our consideration, but our reconsideration—and our unwavering determination to withhold our opinion until we have engaged with them in every possible setting at every possible hour.
But imagining what might happen if one’s circumstances were different was the only sure route to madness.
So, one last book to read before I close down 2017’s reading challenge. As per my track on Goodreads, I don’t think I made it, but what the hell, I still read a lot more than I read in 2016 and I had the joy of reading such amazing books! One last review remaining for this year, followed by a re-cap and a sort of plan of what I would like to read in the next year:) How has your Christmas been?