The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel

by Debra Dean | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0060825316 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingeponine38wing of Winchester, Massachusetts USA on 3/7/2016
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingeponine38wing from Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Monday, March 07, 2016
I'm always happy to find another copy of this book for release. I read it several years ago and loved it. My comments from the earlier release:
A very moving story. It treats two very difficult subjects without being impossibly depressing to read. The contrast between Marina's clear memories of the war years and her loosening grip on present reality is handled beautifully as the narrative moves almost seamlessly between the two. I was particularly touched by the scene at the wedding reception when Marina is talking to the "nice lady in a pink dress" [may not be an exact quote; I lent the book out without writing it down].

I had never heard that during the siege, museum employees gave tours of the museum, stopping before the empty frames and describing in great detail the paintings that used to hang there. That they remembered not only the fine points of hundreds of works, but also their precise location is a testament to their love of art and dedication to their job.

It was interesting to learn that Ms. Dean wrote the book before she had the chance to actually visit St. Petersburg [Leningrad]. Her account of the trip she took with her husband post-publication was quite humorous.

Released 3 yrs ago (3/16/2016 UTC) at Little Free Library, 56 Middlesex Tpke in Burlington, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Left at about 3:00. Hope the finder enjoys it!

Released for Leap Into the Wild Challenge hosted by AlterEgoZoe.
Released for Oh, the Places We Can Go Challenge hosted by Secretariat.

DEAR FINDER,

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Take your time reading the book, and after you finish, please make another journal entry to record your thoughts about it. This book is now yours, and you can keep it if you choose, though we would love for you to share it. If you pass it along, please make a release note to let others know where you left it “in the wild”, or a journal entry if you gave/sent it to a known person.

I hope you enjoy the book!

Journal Entry 3 by wingIddyluwing at Durham, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, August 09, 2018
Picked up at the LFL on Middlesex Turnpike in Burlington, MA on my way down south today. Thanks!

Journal Entry 4 by wingIddyluwing at Durham, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, March 02, 2019
(In retrospect, looking back at my journal entry of the "catch", I'm really annoyed that I didn't set my location to the place where I actually caught the book!)

But wow, I'm so glad I picked this one up; what a gem. The picture I'm uploading here is one I took in December 2013, during a trip to St. Petersburg (the former Leningrad). It's of the Jordan Staircase in the Hermitage Museum, which is mentioned several times in the book.

Journal Entry 5 by wingIddyluwing at Cambridge, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, March 23, 2019

Released 4 wks ago (3/23/2019 UTC) at Cambridge, Massachusetts USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Taking this to today's meeting of the Boston Bookcrossers.

Journal Entry 6 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, March 23, 2019
I claimed this softcover at this afternoon's BookCrossing Meetup at the Porter Square Panera in Cambridge MA, intrigued by the premise of trying to protect art during the horrific Siege of Leningrad...

Journal Entry 7 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, March 27, 2019
What a poignant story! I enjoyed this - and, yes, got a bit teary here and there. The past and present were woven together well, and I appreciated both the history of the museum and its loyal staff during the siege and the heart-wrenching look at Marina's gradual loss of memory as Alzheimers took over. (I've known people suffering from that awful disease; their past memories seemed to last the longest, as the recent ones disappeared.)

The scenes where Marina describes the absent artworks in such detail that her audience begins to see them - those were my favorites. But the suffering and mutual support of the staff during the siege was also memorable. Impressive book!

[Side note: the empty-picture-frames scenes resonated with me, as I'd just read Guardians of the Louvre, a manga which included scenes of the Louvre's empty frames when its artworks were taken away during WWII. Oh, and in the author's list of references I found Russian Ark, a film exploring the Hermitage, and now I want to see it! ]

Journal Entry 8 by wingGoryDetailswing at Billerica Town Common in Billerica, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Released 3 wks ago (3/27/2019 UTC) at Billerica Town Common in Billerica, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book, bagged against the elements, on a bench on the town common while geocaching in the area. Hope the finder enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2019 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2019 Oh the Places We Can Go release challenge. ***

Journal Entry 9 by wingAnonymousFinderwing at -- By hand, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Lol

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