When Snow Fell, Barbara Kastelin

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When Snow Fell is an intimate story of an eccentric family failing to cope with the UK in the 60s, having been accustomed to the glamour and extravagance of Imperial Russia. Woven with vivid flashbacks to the turmoil in Russia, this is an emotional, character-led account of a cultural clash. This book will appeal to fans of heartfelt family sagas with a strong historical twist.

In their Oxfordshire mansion, twins Anna and Antonina try to survive their tempestuous family: their mother Valentina, extravagant financially and sexually; their grandmother Countess Olga, faded in beauty, but shrewd and strong-willed. Money is running out and Olga reluctantly decides to sell the Brodsky family treasure, the Ikon of the Virgin of Kazan. This awakes an old Party leader’s deep-seated grudge, and Vasily Voronov is sent from Moscow to cultivate the Brodskys and to avenge past injustice. The ideologies of Vasily and the family collide, but their shared Russian blood is stronger, and we return to the glittering ballrooms of St. Petersburg and the snowy steppes to discover the long-buried secrets which continue to poison their lives.

Publisher: Matador, May 2017

Reviewer: Jen

When Snow Fell – What an excellent story of the White Russian immigrants who were forced from their own country and had to try and adjust to a new way of life. With the money running out they were forced to sell any valuables they had to survive. It was very hard for the older generation to accept this situation and they had high hopes of compensation from the Russian Government. I laughed and cried as i got to know the characters of Anna and Antonina,their mother Valentina and her mother Countess Olga.

The Author. Barbara Kastelin.   This author is such a brilliant storyteller. Her descriptions of everyone and every place are great. A book I found hard to put down.

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