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The Madonnas of Leningrad
The Madonnas of Leningrad
Author: Debra Dean
In the fall of 1941, the German army approached the outskirts of Leningrad, signaling the beginning of what would become a long and torturous siege. During the ensuing months, the city's inhabitants would brave starvation and the bitter cold, all while fending off the constant German onslaught. Marina, then a tour guide at the Hermitage Muse...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780060825300
ISBN-10: 0060825308
Publication Date: 3/1/2006
Pages: 240
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 34 ratings
Publisher: William Morrow
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Madonnas of Leningrad on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a magical read. What a wonderful talent this first time author has. She goes back and forth between time frames effortlessly.
reviewed The Madonnas of Leningrad on + 335 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A moving, heartbreaking portrait of a Russian woman suffering from Altzheimer's & how the past is much clearer than the present. Moving between the past and present this book presents an accurate picture of what life with the disease is like while also showing the horrors of the past. Very well done!
reviewed The Madonnas of Leningrad on + 102 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I heard about this book from (I think) the library's book review emails and thought it would be fascinating, so I added it to my wish list on PBS. I think the big draw for me was the Russian aspect of the book, but I'm not sure. Anyway I started reading it at 9pm; when I went to bed at 11:30, I was on page 180. I completed the rest of the book the next day during my lunch break, except for the additional info in the back which I read the following day. In the end I was a bit disappointed with it. I think she accomplished her purpose â" to show what it's like in the mind of a woman with Alzheimer's. But I also think there was too little character development for my taste. I found out from the additional info that the author has only done short stories and poetry up âtil now, so I think that accounts for the brevity of the novel and the lack of depth in the characters. I've already posted in back on PBS as there is a 14 person waiting list for it. I hope someone else will enjoy it more than I did.
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reviewed The Madonnas of Leningrad on + 433 more book reviews
I have just finished reading this wonderful book, and I know I will be thinking about it for a long time, and to think that it is the autor's debut novel. It tells the terrible, heartbreaking story of a sad period in Russian history, during the siege of Leningrad, during the 2nd world war. The main character, Marina, is a docent at The Heritage Museum and she is helping the entire staff, who are living in the cellar of the museum, to save and send away the art for safekeeping from the Nazis. She becomes a living memory of the works and the horrible deprivation endured by the city of Leningrad during the Nazi occupation, in what the Russians called "The Great Patriotic War". And you follow Marina during her lifetime and as she deals with Alzheimers disease, which was very interesting. It was like an art history class and I learned so much. The characters are well described and the story easily holds your interest. Definitely recommend it for those who prefer a little deeper read.
reviewed The Madonnas of Leningrad on + 72 more book reviews
I really, really enjoyed this book. I had read about the Hermitage evacuation of art and the seige of Leningrad in Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons (a wonderful series). It was very interesting to read the details of the process. The story captured my imagination and my only negative thing to say is that I would have loved for the story to be longer. I thought the relationship between the main characters was touching and powerful. I thought it was interesting that the thing that allowed Marina to make it through the war, the ability of her sharp mind to imagine and recall, was the thing that failed her at the end of her life. I would definitely recommend this book.