For me, Amor Towles’ Gentleman in Moscow is the quintessential fall read. It’s perfection. This novel begs for a long weekend afternoon – treasured hours spent by the fire and an excellent book and a cup of tea are the most welcome company. From the first page, wrapped in Towles’ glorious descriptions, I felt as if I moved into Moscow’s Metropol hotel with the charming Count Rostov and was so glad I did.
Deemed to be a revolutionary because of a poem he wrote years earlier, Count Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol hotel. Spanning four decades, while Russia shifts, swirls and tumbles outside the walls of this elegant hotel, Towles takes us inside with Rostov, treating us to an interior tale that is as sweeping as it is elegant and intimate. Rostov’s relationship with the Nina, a young girl he meets during the early part of his stay is a relationship to be treasured alongside many characters who come through the doors of the hotel, and thereby, the Count’s life. A Gentleman in Moscow reminded me of a Wes Anderson film – tender, charming and odd in the best way — absolutely perfect.