White Gardenia

Posted March 18, 2015 by The Book & Alcohol Girls in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

White Gardenia Book Cover White Gardenia
Belinda Alexandra
Gallery Books

From internationally bestselling author Belinda Alexandra comes a sweeping, emotional journey that depicts vividly the powerful lifelong bond between mothers and daughters (Paullina Simons, author of The Bronze Horseman).

In a district of the city of Harbin, a haven for White Russian families since Russia Communist Revolution, Alina Kozlova must make a heartbreaking decision if her only child, Anya, is to survive the final days of World War II.

White Gardenia sweeps across cultures and continents, from the glamorous nightclubs of Shanghai to the austerity of Cold War Soviet Russia in the 1960s, from a desolate island in the Pacific Ocean to a new life in post-war Australia. Both mother and daughter must make sacrifices, but is the price too high? Most importantly of all, will they ever find each other again?

Rich in historical detail and reminiscent of stories by Kate Morton and Lucinda Riley, White Gardenia is a compelling and beautifully written tale about yearning, longing, and the lengths a mother will go to protect her child.

There were many parts of this book that I completely loved. I was connected to each character as I found them all relatable. They had great depth and I enjoyed their journey.  The connection between mother and daughter particularly pulled at my heart strings. This was a saga if I ever read one. The adventure crosses multiple countries and cultures. Because of this, the world building was outstanding!

“We Russians believe that if you knock a knife from the table to the floor, a male visitor will come, and if a bird flies into the room, the death of someone close to you is at hand.”

Set during WW2, Anya was forced to become a survivor. She was strong in a way young women weren’t expected to be at that time. Her perseverance was beyond respectable. She was a fantastic heroine. Anya’s courage blew me away at times. As for Dimitri, not so much. He wasn’t my kind of guy. One huge contribution to the book was that Anya meets many people from all different walks of life during the course of the story. This may have been my favorite part.

The beginning of this book was phenomenal, but as it continued there were parts that lagged a bit. Like I said, though, it is a saga and not meant to fly by. The subject matter was heavy, but I think the writing was strong enough to carry it.

I would have liked to have seen the enthusiasm I felt in the beginning continue throughout the book, but otherwise, it was a solid story. Anya was likable and her family dynamic was interesting. What they suffered through and survived was fascinating. I learned quite a bit while reading this epic tale.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys WW2 based novels or a great saga. The history and cultural changes alone made the book worth reading.

3.5 Stars and pair it with a White Russian!

Purchase Link – White Gardenia

More Books from Belinda Alexandra

Silver Wattle
Tuscan Rose
Golden Earrings


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