The Summer of the Barshinskeys Author:Diane Pearson "Although the story of the Barshinshinskeys, which became our story, too, stretched over many summers and winters, that golden time of 1902 was when our strange, involved relationship began, when our youthful longing for the exotic, of the fulfillment of dreams not even dreamed, took a solid and restless hold upon us." — So recounts Sophie Willou... more »ghby as she remembers that magical English summer afternoon in the season of King Edward VII's coronation and at the end of the Boer War; that dreamlike lull in time when the hedgerows were smothered in elderflowers and the meadow air was sweet with haymaking. With her brother, Edwin, and her sister Lillian, Sophie listened to the seductive strains of the the wild Russian violin tune Mr Barshinskeys played and watched spellbound as the ragtag Barshinskey family- Ivan, sullen and dirty; Mrs. Barshinskey, pale and withdrawn; and Balina, sensual, wanton, beautiful- made thier way across Tyler's meadow and into the Willoughby's world.
The delighted Willoughby children could not know that this day and the Barshinskey's arrival would change their lives forever- much as a breathless Europe could not anticipate that in a few short years, winds of revolution and war would whip across continents, sweeping away the old familiar way of life.
It is at this enchanted moment that The Summer of the Barshinskeys begins. A beautifully told, compelling story that moves for the small village of Kent to the teeming London, for war-torn and revolution-rocked Moscow to St. Petersburg, this is the unforgettable saga of two families who's destinies are fated to entwine in endless combinations of friendship. passion, hatred, and love.« less