• Paperback: 464 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 2, 2015)
- From the author of Jerusalem Maiden comes a mesmerizing, thought-provoking novel that tells the riveting story of an American woman—the daughter of Holocaust survivors—who travels to Russia shortly after the fall of communism, and finds herself embroiled in a perilous mafia conspiracy that could irrevocably destroy her life.
Brooke Fielding, a thirty-eight year old New York investment manager and daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, finds her life suddenly upended in late September 1993 when her job is unexpectedly put in jeopardy. Brooke accepts an invitation to join a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian business women, which will also give her a chance to gain expertise in the new, vast emerging Russian market. Though excited by the opportunity to save her job and be one of the first Americans to visit Russia after the fall of communism, she also wonders what awaits her in the country that persecuted her mother just a generation ago.
Inspired by the women she meets, Brooke becomes committed to helping them investigate the crime that threatens their businesses. But as the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Boris Yeltsin turns Moscow into a volatile war zone, Brooke will find that her involvement comes at a high cost. For in a city where “capitalism” is still a dirty word, where neighbors spy on neighbors and the new economy is in the hands of a few dangerous men, nothing Brooke does goes unnoticed—and a mistake in her past may now compromise her future.
A moving, poignant, and rich novel, Hotel Moscow is an eye-opening portrait of post-communist Russia and a profound exploration of faith, family, and heritage.
Buy, read, and discuss Hotel Moscow
Talia Carner is the former publisher of Savvy Woman magazine and a lecturer at international women’s economic forums. This is her fourth novel.
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At first, I had a difficult time getting into this book – the sense of place was fine, but I was confusing the three American women, Amanda, Jenny, and Brooke. Within a chapter or two, I had them sorted, and as it was Brooke’s story I paid closest attention to her.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read – an action packed spy thriller with a cast of mostly women, and the author should be commended just for that. It’s also a stark reminder at what life in Russia was, just as we were starting to peep through what had once been the Iron Curtain. Those of us who were born in the seventies and grew up in the eighties lived with terms like “cold war” and “glasnost” being tossed about like different colored balloons on the wind, and reading a novel set just at the dawn of the new Russian capitalism was almost a time capsule for me.
Politics and history aside, Carner tells a good story. As I said, her sense of place is vivid, and for the most part her characters stand out. Svetlana, with her Soviet speaking voice and matching hair, really stood out for me, as did Brooke, the lead character who seemed to be caught between the desire to help and the need to stay alive, at times. I’ll confess that there were times I wanted to punch their driver/guide Aleksandr, just for being a lazy, annoying idiot. It takes a lot for me to want to cause harm to a character, so kudos for that, Ms. Carner.
If you like old-school thrillers, where the danger is equal parts cerebral and physical, you’ll like Hotel Moscow. It’s an intriguing story with some great character moments, and I was never bored with it.
Goes well with a bowl of borscht and a shot of vodka.
Tuesday, June 2nd: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, June 3rd: Dwell in Possibility
Thursday, June 4th: Raven Haired Girl
Friday, June 5th: Charmingly Modern
Monday, June 8th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, June 9th: A Utah Mom’s Life
Wednesday, June 10th: As I turn the pages
Monday, June 15th: Lavish Bookshelf
Wednesday, June 17th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, June 22nd: Bibliotica
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Wednesday, June 24th: A Book Geek
Thursday, June 25th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
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Friday, June 26th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, June 29th: Book Dilettante
TBD: Luxury Reading