Hotel Moscow gives the reader a glimpse of Russian life in 1993. Brooke Fielding is a successful investment manager in NYC when her company is purchased and employees are told to take a two-week vacation. Brooke decides to use her newfound time off to help women in Russia learn business skills. Brooke wants to share her expertise, but also visit some ghosts in her own closet. Brooke’s time in Moscow coincides with an uprising in the city when the parliament and Yelstin are at odds. Brooke’s eyes are opened as she learns about the naiveté of the Russian women, as well as, the written and unwritten rules of Russian life. Very quickly Brooke forms bonds and feelings for the women she meets, but she also has her own secrets to hide.
Talia Carner skillfully drops hints along the way as she leads the reader through a harrowing tale of how tough Russian life is to navigate for an outsider. Her details are sometimes painful to read and I was convinced that I would not have survived in Moscow. In addition to learning about the reality of communism, Carner shares insights to being Jewish in the Russian state. Carner writes with her own experiences in mind and shares pictures of the time when she visited Moscow. Her skilled writing vividly painted a very real-life tale that was interesting to read and difficult to put down.
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