May 12, 2014
book review by our staff - The Madonnas of Leningrad
The Madonnas of Leningrad
An unusual story told through the eyes of Helen, a woman who develops dementia in her later years. She looks out at the modern world through eyes that no longer understand what is happening, but the memories and visions of her early life are brought to life with vividness.
Her mind goes back to the time she was a young woman in Leningrad during the siege of WW2. She was an art curator at the famous Hermitage art museum, something her children never knew until her story begins unfolding. They begin to see their mother's life in a whole new light.
This is a touching story of a life fully lived with a theme that art and beauty exist regardless of what is happening around us. Helen's desire to survive is fuelled by her love of art, and is so strong that she brings life and movement to the blank walls of the art gallery where the pictures no longer hang having been removed to safety.
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