Who Is to Blame? A Russian Riddle (2020)

Who Is to Blame? A Russian Riddle JaneMarlow Who Is to Blame A Russian Riddle Beverly Hills Book Awards Finalist in Historical FictionWho is to Blame is a historical saga of two families one born of noble heritage and the other bound as serfs to the noble s household Set during
  • Title: Who Is to Blame? A Russian Riddle
  • Author: JaneMarlow
  • ISBN: 9781632991041
  • Page: 439
  • Format: Paperback
Who Is to Blame? A Russian Riddle JaneMarlow Beverly Hills Book Awards Finalist in Historical FictionWho is to Blame is a historical saga of two families one born of noble heritage and the other bound as serfs to the noble s household Set during the mid 1800s in the vast grainfields of Russia, Who Is to Blame follows the lives of two star crossed serfs, Elizaveta and Feodor, torn apart by their own families and thBeverly Hills Book Awards Finalist in Historical FictionWho is to Blame is a historical saga of two families one born of noble heritage and the other bound as serfs to the noble s household Set during the mid 1800s in the vast grainfields of Russia, Who Is to Blame follows the lives of two star crossed serfs, Elizaveta and Feodor, torn apart by their own families and the Church while simultaneously trapped in the inhumane life of poverty to which they were born.At the other end of the spectrum, Count Maximov and his family struggle to maintain harmony amidst a tapestry of deception and debauchery woven by the Count s son The plot twists further when the Tsar emancipates twenty million serfs from bondage as the rural gentry s life of privilege and carelessness takes its final bow, and much of Russia s nobility faces possible financial ruin.The novel s riddles flow subtly throughout, spurring readers to ponder where the blame actually lies In the end, we must tap into our own hearts to navigate the depths and quandaries of the author s perplexing question
Who Is to Blame? A Russian Riddle JaneMarlow

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One thought on “Who Is to Blame? A Russian Riddle

  1. Karen

    I really enjoyed reading this historical fiction book Russian life in the 1800 s was extremely interesting I found the riddles preceding each chapter fun, thought provoking and downright indecent at times During this time in history, superstitions and old wives tale s ran rampant and was evidenced throughout the story It was definitely weird what people believed in back then It s obvious that Jane Marlow put a lot of time, research and thought into this story This book was 300 pages, spanning 25 [...]

  2. Barbara

    Definitely a page turner Generous use of dialogue and rapid scene changes immerse the reader into 19th century Tsarist Russian rural life, which the author has carefully researched down to the last stitch of bridal embroidery We realize that both serfs and nobility are shackled with suffocating lives of drudgery albeit in drastically contrasting circumstances While being culturally and legally trapped in their respective lots in life, the leading characters endure personal crises and hardships t [...]

  3. Ankit Saxena

    Definitely a 4.5 worth of Literature.True to the fact, I love this Book.It s completely a page turner story and written very versed with perfect timeline with best chosen characters.There is a saying, Be Russian, when in Russia meanwhile I picked this book in winters and feel enriched and nourished to my mind for doing the same I was waiting for picking this book for so long to just start it in Winters so that can able to feel the climate environment that in my thoughts would have been in the de [...]

  4. Meg - A Bookish Affair

    4.5 stars Who is to Blame is the story of serfs who work the land and nobles who direct the work in Russia in the mid to late 1800s I am absolutely fascinated by Russian history and always find myself wishing that I could find historical fiction set in Russia The history is so rich with good fodder for stories as we can see in this book This book has a huge cast and is split in chapters by the serfs and the nobles We get to see how each side sees life differently and how they affected by the ra [...]

  5. Shannon

    I was really impressed with this one There is no sugar coating of what life was like for the serfs in 19th century Russia, so it was fascinating and horribly sad all at the same time I liked how the novel switched between the serfs and the nobles, and I thought the writing was very well done I would definitely recommend this one Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  6. Lesia Joukova

    Actual rating 3,5 stars RECOMMENDED Thank you, NetGalley and Greenleaf Book Group for giving me a chance to read and review this copy.The historical genre is a very interesting genre to read and I was very interested in Who Is to Blame because of its premise It is set in the 19th century rural Russia, the story spanning decades before and after Russia s Tsar Alexander The Second s 1861 reform that granted freedom to Russia s serfs.I am a Russian myself and that is why it s always extremely inter [...]

  7. E.P.

    As a professional Russianist, I approached this book with both curiosity and trepidation I m always excited to see a Western book with a Russian theme, but at the same time, I m so often disappointed in the execution Who Is to Blame definitely reads like a Western take on a Russian theme than like actual Russian literature, but it will probably appeal much to English language readers because of that.The novel is a fact dense piece of historical fiction about a particularly turbulent period in [...]

  8. Faouzia

    I would like to thank NetGalley, the Publisher and Author for this copy.It is like 4.5 stars.I find it a little hard to start my review of this book, not because i did not like but because, on the contrary, i liked it a lot and it affected me So here we are, by mid 19th century, in rural Russia, following the lives of two families depending on each other, yet no real connection existed between them On one side, we have the Maximov family, an old nobility, owning the estate of Petrovo along with [...]

  9. Graham McGhie

    Provides an inspired Glimpse into Russia during the Great Reforms a great readHaving read a few other reviews of this book I noted with interest that many reviewers had studied Russian History and Literature at University I m the same The period of Russian History from mid nineteenth century to the Revolutions of 1917 has always held great interest to me As has the Literature of the period There is little I can add to that which has already been said by others about Jane Marlow s novel except to [...]

  10. Linda Zagon

    I would like to thank NetGalley and the Publisher for an ARC of Who is to Blame by Jane Marlow This is a historical fiction genre set during 19th century Russia, and spanning over 25 years The drama takes place between the Noble Class, by heritage , and the serfs who tend the land and are born into poverty Within each class, Jane Marlow writes about romance, conflicts, betrayal,family,loyalty, love, revenge and power.Within the setting, the Tsar emancipates the serfs, and ongoing conflicts occur [...]

  11. Sarah

    Thank you to NetGalley and River Grove Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review It took me quite some time to review this book because I needed to process how I felt about it Some of the narration and characters were a bit too flat and non dimensional for me but I absolutely loved all the riddles distributed throughout and some of the thoughtful ideas about class and various perspectives between nobility and serfs A decent read.I found this fascinatingly timeless Ignorant p [...]

  12. Rebecca

    Set in Russia during the mid to late 1800 s, this book chronicles the life of a noble family and one of its serf families, including the time period when serfs became free citizens How did the lives of nobles and serfs differ And, how would they each be affected by this huge change in power I m not sure why, but ever since reading and loving The Bronze Horseman series by Paullina Simons, I have been very fascinated by life in Russia Yet, I have not read anything from this time period This book d [...]

  13. Saarah NiƱa

    What a tale I ve studied Russia, particularly revolutionary Russia so my knowledge revolved around the topic of how Russia politically changed from the system of Tsardom to a Provisional government, then its gradual advance to a Communist regime Even so, while the historical fiction aspects of this book fixate so on serfdom, and the nobility in Tsarist Russia, I did enjoy reading it In spite of it having been a work of fiction, there s a lot that can be learned I felt like I was truly immersin [...]

  14. Elysium

    The book is set in the 1800s before the emancipation of the serfs and follows Count Stepan Maximov and Elizaveta who is a peasant.Elizaveta loves her childhood friend but they can t marry because marrying your godparents child can t happen Instead, she has to marry a man she knows is a violent one and the marriage isn t a happy one But it seems like abusiveness kinda runs in Ermak s family and Elizaveta s sister in laws aren t having any luck in their lives.Maximov s lost their child and Stepan [...]

  15. El

    Received from the Historical Novel Society and the publisher in exchange for an honest review There s no secret here that I adore Russian literature, especially mid 19th century Russian literature This is a debut novel for Jane Marlow, decidedly not a mid 19th century Russian author she is, after all, alive and well , but it feels like a Russian novel in all ways except for the length of the book itself It is, relatively speaking, a short novel, coming in at just a few pages over 300 As far as R [...]

  16. Lilly

    I received this free copy in exchange for an honest review I read the blurb and some reviews before choosing this book, and I thought to myself why not Well, I should have listened to my instinct because it is definitely not my style I found it boring and overrated I pushed myself in order to finish it, and I neither regret it or feel that it was a good thing that I did That on a personal level.I must admit though that it is very well documented, and the historical era, as well as the country s [...]

  17. Nicole

    I received this book as a Giveaway.I have no idea why it took me so long to actually pick up this book and read it, I loved this story and really hope to see a sequel The author has the gift of story telling Absolutely beautifully written, emotional and both heartbreaking and uplifting with characters that can both disgust you and pull at your heart strings at the same time.

  18. Rachel

    In Who is to Blame, Jane Marlow re examines a genre made popular than a century earlier by Alexander Herzen In this incarnation of the story, the author uses an individual serf and the other peasants whose lives intersect with hers to represent the poverty of nineteenth century Russia The opposite side, represented by Count Maximov s family, clearly portrays not only the disparity of wealth, but also the inability of the gentry to function within their society after the loss of their labor forc [...]

  19. Sally

    I m disappointed that I didn t enjoy this Going by the blurb, I thought it sounded very interesting and it was about a period of history that I know very little about and thought I d learn something as well I appreciate the amount of research that must have gone in to writing this book, but it s unfortunate that while the facts were mostly there, the rest of the book didn t work for me I m wondering if part of the problem I had with this book is down to the fact that it spans around 25 years an [...]

  20. Annette Jordan

    With perspectives from both sides of the class divide this book centers on a dramatic period in Russian history, as serfdom was being abolished and the oppressed poor were, at least in theory, gaining freedom I found the dual narratives very effective and found reasons to empathise with many of the characters Elisaveta, a young woman forbidden by church and custom from marrying her true love is forced into the arms of a cruel and brutal man, while never giving up on her true love Count Maximov s [...]

  21. Laurie

    First I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC copy for a fair and honest review.I quite enjoyed this piece of historical fiction It takes place during the final years of Serfdom and the Bourgeois era in Russian History The story revolved around the life of Elizaveta a Serf and the Maximov Bourgeois family It covers about a twenty five year span and discusses the hardships and daily trials and tribulations suffered by all.The characters were well developed and believable and I foun [...]

  22. Celina

    I am a little disappointed that I didn t like this book The blurb intrigued me since I don t know as much about Russian history as I would like to Which is why I decided to give this a try Unfortunately, the writing style was not for me For me it was boring and I had to force myself to continue reading I was not able to form a connection with the characters and while the historical part seems like it was well researched, I just could not bring myself to care about what happened next For someone [...]

  23. belva hullp

    2 1 2 I expected to like and appreciate this novel much that I actually did It is about the serfs and the nobility in the 1800s just prior to the ending of serfdom The book seemed to be very well researched and covers a place in time that I am not very familiar with so I was looking forward to the read.But the characters seemed flat and one dimensional to me and there wasn t much growth there When one writes a novel that covers this many years one expects to comprehend that growth That took som [...]

  24. Lisa

    I won this book from a Giveaway The story is set in Russia in the 1800 s and is told through chapters from the POV of Maximov, the nobility, and Elizaveta, his serf The story was well researched and captured what life was like for the serfs, but I found it boring, the characters one dimensional Also with the chapters alternating narrators some of the storylines don t finish.

  25. Terese Smith

    Who is to Blame Follows the lives of three families the nobleman Stepan Maximov and two serf families on his estate the Anafrev and Vorontsov families The novel is set in Stepan s Petrovo estate and the local village The author is to be commended for her depiction of life in a peasant village and her attention to historical and social context.The novel focuses on two decades in mid nineteenth century Russia, when the centuries old feudal master serf system and accompanying farming methods are in [...]

  26. Deborah

    Ask me what I know about Russian history, and my answer would be, UmAnastasia But I adore good historical fiction good meaning not rapey romance , so when I saw this available as an Advance Review Copy, my reply was, Gimme My thanks to Net Galley, Greenleaf Book Group, and the author for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.I was expecting, and was gratified to get, a kind of Downton Abbey, Russian style Upstairs in the manor house we have the Count and his family and downstairs, or on the Pe [...]

  27. Jennifer

    Thank you for the opportunity to review this book through a giveaway I was looking forward to reading on Russian history and the book delivered The riddles highlighting each chapter were a different approach and managed well The view that each side had of the other as well as their interactions kept me very interested I will have to say I was somewhat disappointed with the ending as I felt that it ended abruptly without a sense of closure possibly there will be a second book so I will look forw [...]

  28. Joyce

    3 starsThis is a story of 19th Century Russia The focus is the serfs on one side and the aristocrats on the other The landowners think that they are doing the serfs a favor by being harsh and cruel to their peasants The peasants they say are lazy, stupid and so on The peasants who work very hard are underfed and overworked As time passes, the serfs are freed from servitude Social chaos ensues Who, indeed, is to blame Of course, there is much to the story than this simple description I usually r [...]

  29. Annemarie Macken

    An interesting dual narrative, covering the lives of a noble family, the Maximovs, and serf families, predominantly, the life of Elizaveta, a woman destined to suffer endless torment and hardships The story is set in the mid 1800s, at a time when Russia was about to undergo huge social changes, and the plot follows the effect of these changes over a period of time, from both ends of the spectrum.On the one hand, we are presented with a family of privilege and position Count Stepan Stepanovich Ma [...]

  30. Victoria

    Disclaimer I received this book free of charge from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review All opinions are my own This story follows two main families in the village estate of Petrovo, Russia Elizabeta Anafrev of the serf peasant class and the Maximov family of the noble class, led by Count Stepan Maximov The book follows Elizabeta and Stepan throughout their lives, even intermingling from time to time Stepan is in charge of his estate and his serfs, and the caste system k [...]

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