When I initially chose Red Mistress, I was anticipating a solid espionage story set in early 1900s Russia to vary up my string of historical fiction reads What I ended up reading was muchThe story follows Nadia Shulkina across several decades where author, Elizabeth Blackwell, effectively portrays Nadia s character growth throughout the years We first learn about Nadia s noble Russian family, the Shulkins, from her perspective as a child and progress through their challenges and losses throughout and after the main events of the Russian Revolution.
The book blurb gave me the perception that this story would beof an espionage thriller, but I honestly enjoyed the parts that demonstrated the Shulkin family dynamics and character growth Nadia went through best I also enjoyed learningabout the Russian Revolution and, judging by the author s note, the portrayals of what life was like trying to survive during that time My few criticisms come as I felt I was being told versus showed throughout the book and I could have done without the romantic relationship, though I know it was a key piece of how the story concludes for Nadia.
Red Mistress by Elizabeth Blackwell is an enjoyable historical fiction that encompasses the rise the rise and events of the Russian Revolution, and the immediate years thereafter.
This story is about Nadia whom was a part of the Russian royals aristocracy during the time of this upheaval Many were arrested and executed A few were able to flee to other countries, where their lives were drastically altered and became impoverished Others were lucky enough to find family, friends, or trades that allowed them to survive Nadia was able to marry and involve herself with the Bolsheviks and then later became a spy of sorts in France Mystery, suspense, intrigue, and also surprisingly, love romance are all themes that are incorporated into this entertaining and enjoyable HF I enjoyed the plot time frame, the character cast, and also the ending I also enjoyed the author s note on what was real vs fiction 4 5 starsThank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.
I am posting this review to my GR account immediately and will post it to myand BN accounts upon publication 3 13 2020 No option of posting on Bookbub as of today.
I loved this book It s great historical fiction, taking place during the Russian Revolution and into the early 1930 s Nadia Shulkin s nice but not overly wealthy life is upended when the peasants revolt and her entire life goes away family, home, belongings, everything She doesn t even get a ration card, as she is regarded as a former person But Nadia is tough and she works hard to survive, and not become a casualty Then she becomes a somewhat unwilling spy, sent to England to root out possible enemies who might support the overthrow of the Russian government While there she meets someone from her past and has to figure out how to fufill her mission and keep the little family she has left alive Red Mistress is a great book, and Nadia Shulkin is a multidimensional character who takes us with her on her life s journey From her days in Russia, then France, and ultimately back to Russia we feel her pain, her inner conflict I love historical fiction but it seems that much of the recent books are set during World War II it was a pleasure read Red Mistress, in a different time and place Thank you Netgalley and Lake Union for an early reader copy, I really enjoyed it Thanks to NetGalley for an Advanced Reader Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
So much of my beloved Historical Fiction these days is set during WWII England or France while the stories are definitely worthy of telling, the topic can get a bit stale after a while Elizabeth Blackwell s Red Mistress is a breath of fresh air.
The writing is sharp, the action keeps a fairly steady pace throughout the book, and I felt deeply for the main character Other than one slightly odd side adventure during the MC s time in Paris that didn t go anywhere, the story was tightly plotted and kept me reading on far past a sensible time of night, right up to the very satisfying conclusion.
I both recommend this book and will be looking forward to whatever Elizabeth Blackwell has in store for me next.
This is a well written story that kept my attention to the end With just a little bit of intrigue woven throughout, the story will carry you through a troubled era of Russian history When the Tsar of Russia is disposed of, anyone connect to the royal family becomes a target Then begin the wars, the starvation, desolation, andacross the land Communism takes hold and there are worries about Germany s Hitler Life for Nadia Shulkin changes in hours, several times in her life Raised in a comfortable home, treated as a slave, losing both parents, marrying to help her brother, being sent to Paris as a spy, an affair, eventual imprisonment, and finally a new chance, Nadia has lived it all.
This is an excellent, well round look at a struggling Russia and the author does a good job of using different characters to portray different view points.
As I read this book, I was reminded of how quickly countries can change And even though we wish future generations would take the past seriously, instead, history tends to repeat itself.
Red Herring This book seemed so real that I was constantly Googling to see if various people were in fact real Only to get to the author s note at the end where Blackwell points out that at least a few characters were based on real life people but the characters did not share the names of the people they were based on From the opening opulence of Tsarist Russia just prior to WWI to the Bolshevik Revolution to the dramas of the new Political Directorate and Stalin s purges, this book spans about 25 years of momentous history and covers it in a way I had never really seen before Great work in making every setting believable and almost palpable, and great storytelling within those settings to boot Very much recommended.
Red Mistress give some insight on what a woman of this era had to do to survive being part of a non existent non person situation.
There is a bit of a love story, which did not interfere with the overall story This is a good summer read.
Thank you NetGalley and the author and publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest feedback.
Over the past few years, I ve become a fan of historical fiction and while most books seem to focus on WW1 or WW2, Red Mistress takes us on a journey through the Russian Revolution My ancestors are Russian, which made this story all thepoignant.
The story centers on Nadia, a young girl born into Russia s aristocracy Through a series of events during the Bolshevik Revolution, Nadia is forced to make a life altering decision to save herself and her family and in turn, finds a way to reinvent herself.
Red Mistress is well written with fully developed characters and storytelling that creates excellent visuals of Russia, Paris, and England It s a story full of love and loss, trust and deceit, hope and defeat, all sprinkled with a little espionage Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for this ARC I absolutely adore this book It is jammed packed with action, but didn t seem too far fetched The story follows Nadia, who looses her status and belongings during the Russian Revolution She falls into a toxic marriage, and becomes a spy for the Soviet Union in France I recently took a class on European History, and am impressed with the general accuracy of the history behind the book It is clear that a lot of research went into the background The writing made it easy to care about the characters and be invested in the story Overall, I would absolutely recommend this book to everyone, but especially anyone interested in history.