The Madonnas of Leningrad Giveaway
In honor of my 4th year of book blogging and the 2014 Olympics being held in Russia, I am giving away 1 copy of Debra Dean's book The Madonnas of Leningrad to a BookSnob follower. I visited Russia in 1991 after the fall of Communism and visited the Hermitage museum while I was in St. Petersburg which was formerly named Leningrad. It is a beautiful palace turned museum and it was truly an amazing experience. I also visited the cemetery of the Siege of Leningrad where all the victims who died during the Siege were buried. The cemetery is vast and clearly shows the degree of starvation that Leningrad suffered during WWII at the hand of the Germans. Russia is such a beautiful country full of a rich and varied history. Russia continues to fascinate me and I am positive you will love this book by Debra Dean.
Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:
Bit by bit, the ravages of age are eroding Marina's grip on the everyday. And while the elderly Russian woman cannot hold on to fresh memories—the details of her grown children's lives, the approaching wedding of her grandchild—her distant past is preserved: vivid images that rise unbidden of her youth in war-torn Leningrad.
In the fall of 1941, the German army approached the outskirts of Leningrad, signaling the beginning of what would become a long and torturous siege. During the ensuing months, the city's inhabitants would brave starvation and the bitter cold, all while fending off the constant German onslaught. Marina, then a tour guide at the Hermitage Museum, along with other staff members, was instructed to take down the museum's priceless masterpieces for safekeeping, yet leave the frames hanging empty on the walls—a symbol of the artworks' eventual return. To hold on to sanity when the Luftwaffe's bombs began to fall, she burned to memory, brushstroke by brushstroke, these exquisite artworks: the nude figures of women, the angels, the serene Madonnas that had so shortly before gazed down upon her. She used them to furnish a "memory palace," a personal Hermitage in her mind to which she retreated to escape terror, hunger, and encroaching death. A refuge that would stay buried deep within her, until she needed it once more. . . .
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Ends March 1st at midnight