Zoia's Gold

By Philip Sington
(Scribner, Hardcover, 9780743291101, 400pp.)

Publication Date: November 21, 2006

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Description
"Stockholm, December 1999." Madam Zoia, the enigmatic "painter on gold," is dead. The last surviving member of the Romanov court, she leaves behind a house full of paintings, a collection of private papers, and a mystery.

Marcus Elliot travels to Sweden to write the catalog that will accompany the sale of her work. But something feels wrong. Behind the gilded serenity of Zoia's art lie the shadows of a secret life: a dramatic escape from the Bolshevik torturers of the Lubyanka prison, an artistic journey that embraced the excesses of Bohemian Paris, and an unearthly ability to command the devotion of desirable men.

Marcus is to be Zoia's last, triumphant seduction, but with time against him, he must lay his own ghosts to rest -- the scandal that ruined him, the tragedy that shattered his childhood -- before the priceless truth can come within his grasp.

In "Zoia's Gold," Philip Sington seamlessly merges past and present, fact and fiction into a bewitching, compulsively readable novel of obsession, betrayal, and redemption.

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