Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
A Gentleman in Moscow is a beautifully told story that follows our narrator, Rostov, from when he is sentenced by the Russian government to house arrest in a luxurious hotel and his life from then. This historical fiction was engrossing, funny, heartwarming and perfect. As a character driven reader this book is everything that I love all wrapped up in Towles incredible talent.
Count Rostov is such a charming and lovable character. And almost all the other characters working or staying at the hotel were equally as amazing. Because Rostov is on house arrest we get a great glimpse at the workings of the hotel and all the staff that work to make this hotel so prestigious and special. And despite the constant setting of the hotel this book never feels constrained. There is so much life and hustle and bustle throughout the passing years that this book doesn’t feel lacking in any way.
This book is truly just a collection of vignettes that span over time as the reader gets to peek in and out of Rostov’s life. And I think this format is why this book never dragged for me since we were constantly moving around his life. Some times we would suddenly be years in the future and at other times we would get a glimpse into his past. We also got to see how life in Russia changed throughout the decades and how the politics of the time influenced life in and around the hotel.
This was my first Towles novel but I will definitely be reading more in the future. Another aspect of this story that I absolutely adored was how Towles wrote this book in the vein of a Russian novelist. In my high school years I read a lot of Russian classics and this book gave those same vibes. I am intrigued to find out if he changes his style of writing to fit the theme of his books.