Gentleman in Moscow
By Amor Towles
Viking, 2016. 462 pgs. Fiction.
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov was sentenced to house arrest by a Bolshevik tribunal because of his aristocratic legacy and attitudes. His “house” is the Metropol, a grand hotel in the heart of Moscow. And so a new life for him begins in a tiny attic room several floors above the large suite he previously occupied.
Fortunately, Rostov is an optimist and thanks to his gentlemanly charms he establishes a rich life filled with friends and purpose, despite his limited mobility. He also has a front row seat to decades of history in a city in almost constant upheaval, vastly different from the Russia of his youth.
I fell in love with the writing style of Amor Towles when he wrote Rules of Civility. A Gentleman in Moscow solidifies his standing as one of my all-time favorite authors. Count Rostov stole my heart with his kindness and efforts to show everyone the greatest respect. Add to the Count a cast of other vibrant characters, a rare look at a slice of history, and a range of beautiful insights to life and you have a wonderful treasure of a novel.