First I have to to admit I had not intended to read this book as I had decided some time ago after reading a Goodread friends 5 star review and realising all the elements of the story that she loved were going to be the reasons I might not enjoy it as much. But a real life friend bought me a copy of this for Christmas and I really felt obliged to read it as she had enjoyed it so much and I knew we would discuss it at some stage.
The Novel is charming and beautifully written but I wanted more of the history and less of the quirkiness and fairy tale style story and for me the book just dragged and I just didn't connect with the story or the characters. This is more about my ability to enjoy this style of story for what it is than the author's telling of the story as the writing and prose is beautiful but the book was too drawn out for me. Russian history from this period is far from charming and while the book does provide snippets of historical detail it just didn't satisfy me.
So many of my Goodread friends have loved this book and I have read and enjoyed many of their reviews and I do think this would make a great discussion book as bookclub read. We all enjoy books differently and that's what keeps Good Reads interesting and HOPEFULLY FRIENDSHIPS TOO..... :-)