“A Gentleman in Moscow” written by Amor Towles is a novel that is elegant, charming and full of witty remarks.
It tells the story of a young Count Alexander Rostov who had recently returned to Russia and was immediately sentenced to house arrest for life, in one of the nicest hotels in all of Russia, The Metropol. The crime? It was writing a poem going against the Russian Revolution.
The story then takes you through his days at the hotel and how he adjusts to being confined to one building for the rest of his life.
There were a few things that stood out to me the most throughout the story. 1.) The way The Count thought of himself as if he was all that in the beginning (even though he was the one under house arrest.) He took pleasure in correcting people in how they should great people and take orders from customers as well. 2.) that even though he had that hardcore, important presents about him, his manner around children was something different.
Shortly after being place under house arrest, Court Alexander was dining at one of the restaurants at the hotels, when a young girl (by the name of Nina) around the age of five approached him and asked him “Where’d they go” referring to the mustache he had, had the previous day when Nina first saw him but had just shaved it at the barber right before lunch. After the Count explained to Nina what had just occurred, she took this opportunity as like any young girl would by sitting down and asking him more questions. This was the start of a beautiful father-daughter friendship between The Count and Nina (who was at the hotel for an extended stay with a father who worked to much.)
The friendship consisted on spying on all of the assemblies that were held at the hotel. These assemblies were created to organizations after the revolution. Nina also managed to have a master key to the hotel. This allowed her access to every single room of the hotel. Nina left the key with The Count when it was time for her to move on from the hotel. A little something to remember her by.
Alexander thought that he had heard the last his little friend. When out of the blue one day Nina showed up and asked Count Alexander to watch her little girl Sofia for two weeks….
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an elegant tales about the high and low class of Russia.