‘The Girl From The Hermitage’ by Molly Gartland is a fascinating book for me. I have been interested in Russian history since A Level European History, so for many years.
This story is, obviously set in Russia and begins with the Siege of Leningrad and sweeps the years to the end of the Soviet Union and even moves into the New Russia years. We follow Galina and her father Mikhail, an artist charged with saving treasures instead of fighting at the front in 1941 all the way to 1979 when Galina is an adult, then 1999 and we go all the way to 2016 when she is in her old age.
Galina is an artist as an adult, just as her father before her and her paintings and her life are what we follow through the years.
An absolutely exquisite piece of storytelling, the descriptions of the paintings brought them to life for me. the places and the people all beautifully drawn for the reader. I could have been there with the detail given. The 1940s era brought a lump to my throat, the poverty and hardship endured by them are unbelievable compared to life today, we are so lucky! A story of survival through the decades due to her inner strength and wisdom. This woman has suffered more in one decade, than a lot of us would in a lifetime. A story that is enthralling and engaging until the last word and even then I wanted more! I was so proud of Galina to survive everything she did. A book I recommend for anyone who loves an engaging, beautiful and at times haunting tale.
Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources and Molly Gartland and the publisher for my copy of the book for my review today.