In a faraway kingdom, in a long-ago land... Rosie lived peacefully in Moscow and her mother told her fairy tales. But one summer night, all of that came to an end when her father and sister were gunned down. Now, a decade later and studying at Oxford University, Rosie has a fiancé who knows nothing of her former life. When her reclusive mother dies and leaves behind a notebook full of eerie handwritten tales, Rosie returns to Russia and uncovers a devastating family history that spans the 1917 Revolution, the siege of Leningrad, Stalin's purges, and beyond.
Richly detailed ... Like the iconic Matryoshka dolls that are an intrinsic part of Russian culture, the stories of Antonina, Katya and Rosie — grandmothers, mothers and daughters — fit one inside the other. Together, in this provocative tale, they give us a better understanding of Russian culture, politics, and most of all, its people.
The Last Russian Doll blends the best of two genres by embedding a riveting mystery within a masterfully researched historical narrative ... Loesch writes with a subtly dramatic flair, which contributes to the novel’s propulsive sense of forward motion. The Last Russian Doll is a deeply emotional and irresistible story of what it takes to find one’s way through a country with a story like none other.
Loesch moves seamlessly between the expansive dual timelines, slowly establishing the connections between Rosie’s quest to solve the mystery of her family’s murders and Tonya’s efforts to survive the Bolshevik Revolution. Historical fiction fans will love this.