“Once in a position of power and prestige but now in peril, the White Russians are fleeing the Bolshevik regime by the thousands, many with only the clothes on their backs, including Sofya, friend of the young Eliza Ferriday. In this prequel to The Lilac Girls, set during WWI, socialite Eliza is frantically fighting to find Sofya and her aristocratic family, who were forced from their homes by gunpoint. From the shores of South Hampton to the tumultuous streets of St. Petersburg, Kelly weaves a narrative full of feeling that is fraught with suspense and so very worth the ride. I loved every minute of it!”
Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
The million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now Lost Roses, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.
“A nuanced tale that speaks to the strength of women.”—Kirkus Reviews
It is 1914, and the world has been on the brink of war so often, many New Yorkers treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia: the church with the interior covered in jeweled mosaics, the Rembrandts at the tsar’s Winter Palace, the famous ballet.
But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend.
From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris where a society of fallen Russian émigrés live to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways. In her newest powerful tale told through female-driven perspectives, Martha Hall Kelly celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women’s friendship, especially during the darkest days of history.
Audiobook Cast of Narrators:
Sofya, read by Kathleen Gati
Eliza, read by Tavia Gilbert
Varinka, read by Karissa Vacker
Luba, read by Catherine Taber
and with the Author's Note read by the author