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The Madonnas of Leningrad
by Debra Dean | Literature & Fiction
Registered by lmn60 of Spotswood, Victoria Australia on Saturday, March 19, 2011
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by chardonaytoday): to be read


6 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by lmn60 from Spotswood, Victoria Australia on Saturday, March 19, 2011

8 out of 10

This one was selected by my 'real life' book club - and what a good read it was! At times I found it heavy going... not because of any problem with the writing, but the subject matter of dementia struck a little too close to home for me at times. I also found the characters at times to be a little thinly drawn - but was utterly fascinated by the story of the Siege of Leningrad and the concepts of memory that Dean plays with. Definitely a recommended read...

From Publishers Weekly...
'Russian emigré Marina Buriakov, 82, is preparing for her granddaughter's wedding near Seattle while fighting a losing battle against Alzheimer's. Stuggling to remember whom Katie is marrying (and indeed that there is to be a marriage at all), Marina does remember her youth as a Hermitage Museum docent as the siege of Leningrad began; it is into these memories that she disappears. After frantic packing, the Hermitage's collection is transported to a safe hiding place until the end of the war. The museum staff and their families remain, wintering (all 2,000 of them) in the Hermitage basement to avoid bombs and marauding soldiers. Marina, using the technique of a fellow docent, memorizes favorite Hermitage works; these memories, beautifully interspersed, are especially vibrant. Dean, making her debut, weaves Marina's past and present together effortlessly. The dialogue around Marina's forgetfulness is extremely well done, and the Hermitage material has depth. Although none of the characters emerges particularly vividly (Marina included), memory, the hopes one pins on it and the letting go one must do around it all take on real poignancy, giving the story a satisfying fullness.'  


Journal Entry 2 by lmn60 at Della Nonna OBCZ, QV in Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Sunday, August 28, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 3 yrs ago (8/28/2011 UTC) at Della Nonna OBCZ, QV in Melbourne, Victoria Australia

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Taking to meetup where I hope this will find a new appreciative reader...

To the finder of this book:
Hello and congratulations! You have not only found yourself a good book, but a whole community of booklovers dedicated to sharing books with each other and the world at large. I hope you'll stick around a bit and get to know BookCrossing --maybe even make a journal entry on this book. You may choose to remain anonymous or to join (its free!) And if you do choose to join, I hope you'll consider using me, lmn60, as your referring member. Feel free to read and keep this book, or to pass it on to a friend or even set it out "in the wild" for someone else to find like you did. If you do choose to join and journal, then you can watch the book as it travels- You'll be alerted by email each time someone makes another journal entry. It's all confidential (you're known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your e-mail address), free, and spam-free. Happy reading! 


Journal Entry 3 by wingmeganhwing at Thornbury, Victoria Australia on Sunday, August 28, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Recommended by lmn60 so of course I had to have it! Onto Mt TBR it goes. 


Journal Entry 4 by wingmeganhwing at Thornbury, Victoria Australia on Tuesday, March 27, 2012

8 out of 10

Every now and then you come across a book you can't put down and this was one of them. I loved the parallel stories of Marina in her demented state and her memories of the past. I loved the detail of her life during the war collating and storing the Hermitage art collection whilst living in the cellar of the Hermitage. Her memories of the past became more important as her day to day life with her family receded.
A very interesting book. 


Journal Entry 5 by wingJean-Solwing at Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Sunday, May 27, 2012

This book has not been rated.

My turn to pick up this book after lmn60's enthusiastic recommendation. I must say, it does look good and I'm looking forward to reading it...whenever that may be. 


Journal Entry 6 by wingJean-Solwing at Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Saturday, August 25, 2012

8 out of 10

Well I couldn't put this book down either. It's was very moving in many ways. I loved the part during the war, around the Hermitage Museum (I've always wanted to visit StPetersburg!) and the hardship stories around the siege. Then the modern part, with her dementia and the impact on her family, and also the fact that... but I have to stop here as I don't want to write any spoilers, so I'll have to wait to see lmn60 and meganh at the meetup to have a good discussion about it.

This book is on its way back to the BC meetup tomorrow. 


Journal Entry 7 by bronwyna at NOSH, Hall St in Newport, Victoria Australia on Saturday, September 22, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 2 yrs ago (9/23/2012 UTC) at NOSH, Hall St in Newport, Victoria Australia

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Interesting insight into Russia's involvement in WWII. Worth a read.  


Journal Entry 8 by KKslibrary at Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Saturday, September 29, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Picked up at the September meetup in Newport. On TBR pile 


Journal Entry 9 by KKslibrary at Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Saturday, October 27, 2012

8 out of 10

Enjoyed this book, although quite sad, it is very moving story of woman suffering from alzheimers. I am keeping it for now as I have suggested we read it for my book club next year, so keeping this to lend to fellow book clubbers. 


Journal Entry 10 by chardonaytoday at Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Sunday, November 11, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Sounds interesting. Looking forward to the read! Thanks Bookcrossing... 




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