Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Library Loot ~ January 30 - February 5

The Mirrored World ~ by Debra Dean, 2012, fiction (Russia), 7/10
I really liked her first novel, The Madonnas of Leningrad (click to read my review), so I do want to read this second novel.  It's described as "a novel of love, madness, and devotion set against the extravagant royal court of eighteenth-century St. Petersburg.  Born to a Russian family of lower nobility, Xenia, an eccentric dreamer who cares little for social conventions, falls in love with Andrei, a charismatic soldier and singer in the Empress's Imperial choir.  Though husband and wife adore each other, their happiness is overshadowed by the absurd demands of life at the royal court and by Xenia's growing obsession with having a child — a desperate need that is at last fulfilled with the birth of her daughter.  But then a tragic vision comes true, and a shattered Xenia descends into grief, undergoing a profound transformation that alters the course of her life.  Turning away from family and friends, she begins giving all her money and possessions to the poor.  Then, one day, she mysteriously vanishes.  Years later, dressed in the tatters of her husband's military uniform and answering only to his name, Xenia is discovered tending the paupers of St. Petersburg's slums.  Revered as a soothsayer and a blessed healer to the downtrodden, she is feared by the royal court and its new Empress, Catherine, who perceives her deeds as a rebuke to their lavish excesses.  Dean reimagines the intriguing life of Xenia of St. Petersburg, a patron saint of her city and one of Russia's most mysterious and beloved holy figures."
Replay ~ by Ken Grimwood, 1986, science fiction
Jeff Winston, forty-three, didn't know he was a replayer until he died and woke up twenty-five years younger in his college dorm room; he lived another life.  And died again. And lived again and died again — in a continuous twenty-five-year cycle — each time starting from scratch at the age of eighteen to reclaim lost loves, remedy past mistakes, or make a fortune in the stock market. A novel of gripping adventure, romance, and fascinating speculation on the nature of time, Replay asks the question: "What if you could live your life over again?"
Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire @ The Captive Reader and Marg @ The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages us to share titles of books we’ve checked out of the library.  Add your link any time during the week, and see what others got this week.


Marg said...

I was a bit disappointed with The Mirrored World, but then again I didn't love her first book either. I still love the setting though.

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

I really enjoyed The Madonnas of Leningrad but this one doesn't appeal as much. I do love that cover though!

Helen's Book Blog said...

Replay was first pointed out to me a couple years ago by my principal who says it was one of his favorite books. I put it on my TBR list and kind of forgot about it. Now it seems to be popping up all over the place so I'd better get to reading it! Hope you like it

Linda said...

I love the cover of The Mirrored World. Replay sounds like something I would like. Enjoy your loot.

Life and Dreaming said...

Thanks for posting about The Mirrored World. I loved The Madonnas of Leningrad, and I hadn't heard that Dean had another book out. It's going on the TBR list today!