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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Count Alexander Rostov rushes home from Paris to be with his family during the Bolshevik revolution, thinking he will make amends for past wrongdoing.  Unfortunately, he is immediately sentenced to house arrest – in one of the finest hotels in Moscow.  If he ever steps foot outside The Hotel Metropol, with its award-winning restaurant, stunning views, luxurious salon, and other extravagant amenities for the traveling rich, Alexander will be shot on sight.  Now this sophisticated man of the world must rebuild his life around one, albeit extremely comfortable, building.

Despite featuring the same setting on page after page, this story is anything but dull.  Amor Towles, the author, manages to create an evolving Russia in miniature, illustrating how Stalin and his regime drastically changed day-to-day life, even for the richest inhabitants and visitors.  From sweet moments with the chef and maitre d’ of the hotel to performing science experiments in the ballroom with the hotel’s resident children to liaisons with glamorous actresses, Alexander manages to make his life fascinating and much larger than the reader could believe possible, while never leaving the Metropol.  With its charming cast of characters and humor in the face of tragedy, this novel delves deeply into what gives a life purpose and what makes it meaningful.  To reserve a copy of A Gentleman in Moscow, click here.

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