Push Not The River by James Conroyd Martin - 496 pages
A panoramic and epic novel in the grand romantic style, Push Not the River is the rich story of Poland in the late 1700s--a time of heartache and turmoil as the country's once peaceful people are being torn apart by neighboring countries and divided loyalties. It is then, at the young and vulnerable age of seventeen, when Lady Anna Maria Berezowska loses both of her parents and must leave the only home she has ever known.
With Empress Catherine's Russian armies streaming in to take their spoils, Anna is quickly thrust into a world of love and hate, loyalty and deceit, patriotism and treason, life and death. Even kind Aunt Stella, Anna's new guardian who soon comes to personify Poland's courage and spirit, can't protect Anna from the uncertain future of the country.
Anna, a child no longer, turns to love and comfort in the form of Jan, a brave patriot and architect of democracy, unaware that her beautiful and enigmatic cousin Zofia has already set her sights on the handsome young fighter. Thus Anna walks unwittingly into Zofia's jealous wrath and darkly sinister intentions.
Forced to survive several tragic events, many of them orchestrated by the crafty Zofia, a strengthened Anna begins to learn to place herself in the way of destiny--for love and for country. Heeding the proud spirit of her late father, Anna becomes a major player in the fight against the countries who come to partion her beloved Poland.
My Review: 4.5 stars
This book represents love and loss, power and politics not just for the main character Countess Anna Maria Berezowska but also on a national scale when Poland is being taken over by Russia. This book is based on her actual diaries but I do wish I knew what liberties were taken by this author because I fell hook, line and sinker for every detail. Told on a grand scale, this book is for the lover of historical fiction that have romance embedded within. An absolute page turner and a wonderful sequel follows this first well done endeavor called Against A Crimson Sky. Quotes I liked:
“What is past, one cannot change, so each backward glance is a bit of the present slipping away.”
Tags: Historical Fiction, 2008, Romance
Labels: 2008, Historical Fiction, Romance