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In this prequel to her debut novel, The Russian Concubine (2007), about White Russian Lydia Ivanova, Furnivall focuses on Lydia’s mother, Valentina, during the years leading up to and including the Russian Revolution of 1917. When Bolsheviks bomb her family’s country estate in 1910, crippling her younger sister, Katya, 17-year-old title character Valentina is left with guilt and resolve. With a slim frame but steely character, she defies both convention and her father, who is the czar’s minister of finance, first by training and working as a nurse and then by refusing to marry for money (in order to solve the family’s financial problems). Instead, she chooses the man she loves passionately, Dane Jens Friis, the czar’s engineer. Through the years, her hatred grows for Viktor Arkin, a Bolshevik leader once in the Ivanovas’ employ who develops an emotionally complicated relationship with the family. Furnivall portrays a country in dreadful conflict, with the grinding poverty of the masses fueling rebellion against the privileged classes. A must for readers of The Russian Concubine and Furnivall’s The Red Scarf (2008). --Michele Leber
High drama and old fashioned passion make this perfect escapist reading' MARIE CLAIRE 'Furnivall skillfully intertwines historical fact with a heartfelt love story. This will be a delight for Furnivall's fans, and equally a joy for those new to her work' PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY 'A complex tale masterfully told, of passion, adventure and intrigue during one of the most fascinating eras of Russian history. Kate Furnivall had my heart pounding from page one - and kept it racing right up until the last. A truly satisfying read' SA 'Full of rich history, heart-stopping romance and delicious dangers, Furnivall's sweeping, sumptuous epic is perfect for readers who just want to escape' LANCASHIRE EVENING POST Gripping, elegant, and fierce, this is a classic war-torn love story, and Furnivall's best yet' LIBRARY JOURNAL 'The Jewel of St Petersburg is an impressive novel which effortlessly conjures up a period in history, colours it with exciting characters and consequently creates an absorbing story that will enthrall from start to finish' ULSTER TATLER --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Editorial Reviews
I really enjoyed her style of writing. Unfortunately I had to scan through her website to try and find a sequel to this book and only found one by looking into all her other... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jenny Stokes
An entertaining read whose characters draw you into their lives - where you experience their highs and lows alongside them.Published 13 months ago by Lisa
This story pulled me into another time and place! The characters were memorable and complex, written so beautifully that I lived every emotion and understood how the turmoil of... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Sharon S.
Russian Concubine, Girl from Jungchow and Jewel of St. Petersburg should be read in the order they were written. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kathie Cole