"A Gentleman in Moscow" Review
I'm breaking my usual format for this review. This book is so extraordinary it feels wrong to parse it into a structure that's not as fluid and artistic as it is. So I'm free writing this one, right from the heart.
The most important thing I can say about "A Gentleman in Moscow" is that it is beautiful. From the prose to the characters, this book bewitches the reader. At first, I wasn't sure how I would like it simply because it is so different from most books in the respect that the entire story occurs in one hotel. There's no grand adventure sweeping across Russian. But Towles magically provides a more comprehensive look at Russian history and culture with Count Rostov's house arrest than any other novel I've read.
Towles writes from the soul and due to that I found myself falling deeply in love with Russia and it's history. I cried at moments, my heart ached for the people who went through that confusing and scary time in Russia, and I grieved for all of the history and grandeur that was lost during the revolution. But at the same time, it felt like my heart was singing each time Count Rostov reminisced on the past, made a new friend, turned a difficult situation into a wonderful one, and chose the high road no matter how he was treated. In all honesty, I think Count Rostov may be the most morally upright character I have ever come to know, and I adored him for it.
I love this book. It's about perseverance, forgiveness for others and yourself, overcoming challenges, friendship, and loyalty to those you love and to who you are as a person.