Thursday, December 14, 2017

Book Review: The Lost Season of Love and Snow by Jennifer Laam

Pages: 352
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating:  3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "At the age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. But while she finds joy in French translations and a history of Russian poetry, her family is more concerned with her marriage prospects. It is only fitting that during the Christmas of 1828 at her first public ball in her hometown of Moscow she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin.   Enchanted at first sight, Natalya is already a devoted reader of Alexander’s serialized novel in verse, Evgeny Onegin. The most recently published chapter ends in a duel, and she is dying to learn what happens next. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya hopes to see him again as soon as possible.  What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death.  With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story—the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous Imperial Court."

From a young age, Natalya Goncharova has known that she must marry well. Even though she has a variety of interests, her mother is more concerned about her marriage prospects, which should be promising as Natalya is a very beautiful girl.  At a Christmas Ball in 1828, she attracts the attention of the very famous Alexander Pushkin, Russia's most prized poet.  What is even more exciting is that Natalya has read Pushkin's work and is a fan.  This possible love connection should be exciting to her family, but at first, her mother isn't convinced it's a good match as Alexander has a shady past.  Plus, how much money can a poet make, especially if he isn't in the Tsar's good graces?  But it seems that no one can keep these two love birds apart.  Jennifer Laam's The Lost Season of Love and Snow is an interesting glimpse into the actual relationship between Pushkin and his beautiful wife, Natalya.  There's romance, secrets, and major heartbreak in this historical novel.

Natalya is an interesting character in The Lost Season of Love and Snow.  She cares about many things, not just the things her mother deems as appropriate, which I can appreciate about her.  Her initial attraction to Alexander jumps right off the page. You can feel the sparks! I really enjoyed their romance.  While I could have done without all the jealous episodes, it definitely made for an entertaining novel.

Alexander Pushkin was a compelling character in The Lost Season of Love and Snow. I am not too familiar with his life, so I was definitely intrigued by his story. While I found him to be utterly annoying at times and I didn't always agree with his decisions, I appreciated his romance with Natalya.  

There's some court politics in The Lost Season of Love and Snow, a lot of gossip, some scandal, and tragedy, which really tugged on my heartstrings. A good historical novel will get me interested about the real-life events that are portrayed within the pages and that was the case here. I haven't read many novels that take place at Russia's Imperial Court; however, I enjoyed the setting and definitely want to check out more in the future.  The Lost Season of Love and Snow makes for an entertaining wintertime read, especially for fans of historical fiction.


  1. I love historical fiction, and this setting and time period is not one I've seen often. And that cover is gorgeous! Great review!

    1. That's exactly why I read it! I haven't read many books set in Russia, so I was definitely intrigued. I am loving the cover as well. Thanks for visiting, Angela!

  2. I love historical fictions ! I think I might get it for my mom it's right up her street !

    1. Yes! Fans of historical fiction will appreciate this book the most. Thanks for visiting, Alex!


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