When I had the opportunity to review a book by Talia Carner, I jumped at the chance. One of her previous novels, Jerusalem Maiden, was one of my favorite books of 2011. So I knew that falling in love with her writing style would not be difficult at all. And I was not disappointed as I dove into Hotel Moscow.
Carner's writing is filled with cultural references. Recognizable - to the point that I can envision myself there and feeling, experiencing - everything in her story. It's almost palpable.
I'm not a big reader of historical fiction, but this isn't all that historical to me as the story is set in 1993. And admittedly, I was old enough then to remember it fairly well.
The deeper history comes in the main character's memories - but they're shared memories, ones that her relatives have told her about. Ones that she hasn't lived through herself but seem to crop up whenever she's nervous or questioning things.
Brooke is a 38-year-old woman exploring Russia for the first time. The reason for her journey is personal as much as it has a professional value. She's there to help women learn valuable skills, women who have developed their own businesses, despite the environment they've battled their entire lives.
The descriptive way that Carner details what Brooke sees, from the moments she arrives in the city and breathes in the architecture and people around her to random pieces of furniture to place us fully in her surroundings is a huge part of what makes me love her writing.
This book is filled with mystery, turmoil, anxiety and pretty much runs the gamut when it comes to emotions. As the reader you can easily put yourself where the author takes you, and this includes the characters' minds. The women that we meet go through so much. We stand idly by, as witnesses, stuck in one spot - hating, loathing, burning with anger.
We hurt. We hate.
We take deep breaths.
Brooke may be the primary character in this book, but this story is not hers alone. The secondary characters hold their own and take us forth on a journey worth participating in.
Hotel Moscow is worth a read. If you'd like to pick up a copy for yourself head on over to Amazon and order it today.
* I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review. There are affiliate links throughout this post. *