Lost Roses Tour – Review

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About the Book

The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by 

true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.

It’s 1914 and Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to travel to St. Petersburg with her best friend Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. But when war looms and Russia’s Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing unspeakable danger into their home. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza helps the destitute White Russian families find safety as they escape the  revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming she fears her friend has come to a terrible end.

From the Tsar’s palaces of St. Petersburg to the long-lost Russian neighborhoods of Paris to the glorious estates of Southampton, New York, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a fascinating time in history.

Praise for Lost Roses

“A charming and vividly rendered historical novel . . . Based on true events, this prequel to Lilac Girls transports.”—People

“Inspired by true events, just like its predecessor, and just as well-researched, Lost Roses is a remarkable story and another testament to female strength. This sweeping epic will thrill and delight fans of Lilac Girls and readers of historical fiction alike.”—PopSugar

“Epic . . . [Martha Hall] Kelly’s gift is bringing to life and to light the untold stories of women and families far away from the war front yet deeply affected by the decisions of leaders and the efforts of fighters. Fans of historical fiction . . . and viewers of period dramas will want to clear their calendars when Lost Roses comes out.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Kelly memorably portrays three indomitable women who triumph over hardships and successfully brings a complex and turbulent time in history to life.”—Publishers Weekly

“The writing is rich and vivid with detail about the period. . . . A nuanced tale that speaks to the strength of women.”—Kirkus Reviews

“In an era crumbling under the weight of war, hatred, and devastation, the bonds of women not only endure but offer sustenance and hope in Martha Hall Kelly’s stunning depiction of the lives of Eliza Ferriday and the women she fought to save. Lost Roses is not only a brilliant historical tale, but a love song to all the ways our friendships carry us through the worst of times.”—Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours


Happy paperback release day! Let me start off by just saying: wow. This book was so amazingly good! I read it as a standalone, but now I need the first book ASAP! First things first, I love how this is a female driven story. Throughout history women have defied the odds and I never tire of reading about it.

Lost Roses lets you travel across countries. From the US to Paris to St. Petersburg you get a taste of all of the different cultures during this rather turbulent time in history. But also, when is history ever not turbulent? The research the author put into these places shines through and you are truly transported to each location.

This book is one of those few times that I loved having multiple POVs. Oftentimes I find that I struggle with multiple POVs because I’m not fully invested in all of the characters, so I’m extremely happy to say that this was not the case with this story. I couldn’t wait to find out more about each of the three characters: Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka.

Now, I mentioned that I read this book as a standalone. How did I do that you might ask? Well, it’s quite simple, Lost Roses is the prequel to Lilac Girls. I’m actually happy I read them in this order, even if I’m typically a *smidge* obsessive about reading books in publishing order. I think that the events and characters in this book will greatly set me up and prepare me for all that is Lilac Girls.

About the Author

Martha is a native New Englander who lives in Connecticut and Martha’s Vineyard. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years, raised three wonderful children who are now mostly out of the nest and Lilac Girls is her first novel. She has been hard at work on the prequel to Lilac Girls, Lost Roses, which features Caroline’s mother Eliza Ferriday and her fight to save a group of Russian women, former aristocrats who lost everything in the Russian Revolution. You’ll find more info about both books on Martha’s website: https://marthahallkelly.com/ and on Pinterest.

*I received an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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