This is the best book I have read in quite some time. I love Kristin Hannah, and picked up this book without more than a cursory glance at the back cover. I was totally hooked within a few pages and could not put it down. The characters are so real, you feel like part o fthe story. There are lots of twists and turns in the plot, and something very unexpected toward the end. I loved it and wish there was a whole series of books with these characters.
Loved it. Not usually a mystery fan, I really enjoyed the surprises in this book. Since I have friends whose parents endured some of the hardships told about in this story, it was especially interesting to me. Have recommended to several of my reading friends. Would certainly say excellent.
I was drawn to this novel for the interplay between past and present, and the idea of a fairytale motif masking a darker story. These elements kept me engaged, but the novel felt uneven. Several of the plot developments in the modernday story bordered too far on the melodramatic, and the fairy tale dragged on to the point of feeling heavyhanded. The sincerity of some of the quieter family moments and vivid, engrossing descriptions of Leningrad during the war were the novels greatest strengths. I wouldnt discourage anyone from reading this book, but I wont be itching to recommend it, either.