In 1922 Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin.
Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of discovery.
It is with sheer delight that I move this from my 2021 Book Challenge list to my Best of 2021 list. I read it first of my challenges simply because there are so many requests at the library that I wouldn't be able to renew it.
It is a wonderful balance of whimsy and history, fairy tale and reality. It tells us how to survive the rules imposed by others and how to turn dreams into reality.
I didn't expect to be breathlessly excited by the last act but I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Not a thing was introduced that wasn't called back into use by the end. And the end was absolutely perfect. Now I've got to buy my own copy.