War is undoubtedly hell but it is a particularly poignant cruelty when it is waged on civilians - men, women and children alike - as it was during the 900 days of the Nazi's bitter siege of Leningrad in 1941. Marina Anatolyevna Krasnova remembers her time as a young girl in a bitterly cold war torn city in astonishingly vivid detail. A former tour guide of the now renowned Hermitage Museum, she has mentally preserved the details of every room and every painting in the museum in her mind's … more
Two poetic and evocative stories about a young girl's struggles in war torn Leningrad during the Nazi's siege in WW II and her subsequent present day struggles with the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. At once heartwarming and heartbreaking.
This is, as the other reviewers have so wel pointed out, a remarkable story of great love - of art, of family, and of survival at a time when it seemed nothing would survive - no decency, no beauty, and definitely not human beings besieged in the midst of a horrendous war. Later we find our heroine equally besieged, by the unforgiving terrors of alzheimer's disease, as she struggles to remember family, friends, and at times who she is. All of this is premise for an unforgettable … more
The Madonnas of Leningrad is the poignant story of Marina, who survived the Siege of Leningrad during the Second World War. The novel tells the story of how Marina memorized all the works of art in The Hermitage Art Gallery after they had been evacuated from the museum; she would walk the halls as a mission to not forget the beauty in the hopes that one day they would return. Set during the deprivation and devastation of the times, Dean brings to life the artwork amid Marina's personal story of … more