"History is the business of identifying momentous events from the comfort of a high-back chair. With the benefit of time, the historian looks back and points to a date in the manner of a gray-haired field marshal pointing to a bend in a river on a map: There it was, he says. The turning point. The decisive factor. The fateful day that fundamentally altered all that was to follow."
Why oh why has it taken me so long to review this book? It's my favorite read of the year so far...and with a mere 30 days left before we sing Auld Lang Syne, odds are nothin's gonna knock it off its lofty perch. While The Orphan Keeper could prove to be a worthy contender, for now, A Gentleman in Moscow reigns supreme.
This book actually makes me long for a real book club. The kind where you all come over and we sit around my cozy fire sipping hot cocoa (topped with peppermint whipped cream and cinnamon) and talk late into the night about the Russian gentleman who won our hearts. We'd laugh at how the Bishop got what he had coming to him, then cry over life sometimes being "every bit as devious as Death," and wish it had been kinder to Mishka and Nina. We'd long to attend one more meeting of the Triumvirate, dine again at the Boyarsky, and play several rounds of Zut with the Count and Sofia.
When it came time to call it a night, I'd reluctantly bid you farewell, feeling a bit melancholy over how seldom we see each other. And then, not ready to part with my beloved Count Rostov just yet, I'd curl up by the fire and start all over again on page one. Something tells me you'd be back home in front of your own cozy hearth doing exactly the same.