I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book – but it covers a time I’m intrigued by, but don’t know much about. Post Russian Revolution, while much of the West is celebrating the booming economy and a return to life post war, Moscow is very different.
Count Rostov helped propel the Revolution in its early days. His writing inspired the working man, incited rebellion. Now that the Revolution is over, and the new Bolshevik government has settled in, he returns to Moscow to face his past – as part of the landed upper class, whatever was done for the Revolution is forgotten, as leaders fear rebellion from those they fought years before.
Instead of facing jail, they insist he must instead remain in site the hotel he has spent years already living at. All in all, its not a bad deal. It could have been much worse. The Metropol isn’t just any hotel – it’s a luxury hotel, with plenty to keep him busy.
But soon it seems the walls are closing in – in some ways literally as he is moved to attic, letting go of family heirlooms, and favorite books. The most unsuspecting people around him soon help him find the hotel he is confined to includes much more than he ever thought. Within and without he can see life continue – from people heading in and out of the Kremlin, and watching late arrivals rush up the steps to the opera house. His world expands more though with his sneaking around off limits parts of the hotel.
Rostov is charismatic and friendly, liked by longtime friends, and newer acquaintances, and everyone who works at the hotel. He’s exactly who you want telling a story.