From the author of Jerusalem Maiden comes a mesmerizing, thought-provoking novel that tells the riveting story of an American woman—the daughter of Holocaust survivors—who travels to Russia shortly after the fall of communism, and finds herself embroiled in a perilous mafia conspiracy that could irrevocably destroy her life.
Brooke Fielding, a thirty-eight year old New York investment manager and daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, finds her life suddenly upended in late September 1993 when her job is unexpectedly put in jeopardy. Brooke accepts an invitation to join a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian business women, which will also give her a chance to gain expertise in the new, vast emerging Russian market. Though excited by the opportunity to save her job and be one of the first Americans to visit Russia after the fall of communism, she also wonders what awaits her in the country that persecuted her mother just a generation ago.
Inspired by the women she meets, Brooke becomes committed to helping them investigate the crime that threatens their businesses. But as the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Boris Yeltsin turns Moscow into a volatile war zone, Brooke will find that her involvement comes at a high cost. For in a city where “capitalism” is still a dirty word, where neighbors spy on neighbors and the new economy is in the hands of a few dangerous men, nothing Brooke does goes unnoticed—and a mistake in her past may now compromise her future.
A moving, poignant, and rich novel, Hotel Moscow is an eye-opening portrait of post-communist Russia and a profound exploration of faith, family, and heritage.
Praise For Hotel Moscow: A Novel…
“Carner deftly mixes in the changing landscape of Russia with an emotional story about a woman coming to terms with her heritage.” — South Florida Sun Sentinel
“Action-packed, steamy and suspenseful.” — Jerusalem Post
“An eye-opening exposé of life following the collapse of the Iron Curtain...Vividly drawn characters and taut suspense add up to a real-life dystopian page-turner of the un-put-downable variety.” — Library Journal
“Talia Carner sweeps us away along with her brave and determined heroine to an exotic and complex time and place, and keeps us riveted with the tension and dangers of international intrigue. A real page-turner!” — Tami Hoag, New York Times bestselling author of Cold Cold Heart
“With the urgency of a thriller and the sharp, atmospheric lens of a great documentary, HOTEL MOSCOW hurls you into the vortex of the corrupt, outlaw world of the Soviet Union morphing into modern Russia. A fascinating and ultimately gripping read!” — Andrew Gross, New York Times-bestselling author of One Mile Under
“HOTEL MOSCOW is bold and breathless. A smart story about a fearless New York woman who arrives in Russia with more baggage than she knows, it explores both the personal and the political with compelling prose, heartfelt insights and gripping action. An impressive achievement!” — Ellen Meister, author of Farewell, Dorothy Parker
Praise for Jerusalem Maiden: “Talia Carner uses beautiful language, exquisite storytelling, and detailed research to transport the reader into the world of old Jerusalem...This is a book to savor and discuss.” — Jewish Book World, on Jerusalem Maiden
“A fascinating look at a little-known culture and time...Tuck JERUSALEM MAIDEN in your beach bag.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune, on Jerusalem Maiden
“A welcome glimpse into a little-understood world.” — Kirkus Reviews, on Jerusalem Maiden
“A gripping read. Rich with insight and detail, as well as drama and emotion...this book deftly explores a chapter in history that is little understood much less written about.” — Rodney Barker, author of Dancing with the Devil: Sex, Espionage and the U.S. Marines
“HOTEL MOSCOW is a tantalizing book full of corruption, extortion, and shocking treatment of women -- and that is just the tip of the Russian iceberg. Talia Carner’s engaging style draws you in with its powerful description of life in Russia twenty months after the fall of communism.” — Deborah Rodriguez, author of The Kabul Beauty School
“A heroine both glamorous and smart, hard-driving and compassionate, Brooke Fielding -- American investment counselor and daughter of Holocaust survivors - travels through the looking glass of Russia, 1993, when the country was lurching toward capitalism, women were coming into their own, and danger lurked around every corner...Sweeping and suspenseful.” — Roy Hoffman, author of the novels Chicken Dreaming Corn and Come Landfall
“A finely-drawn tale of a country emerging from its dark Soviet past into a present overshadowed by a new kind of terror and lawless corruption... Will keep the reader mesmerized.” — Nelson DeMille
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062388599, 464pp.
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
About the Author
Talia Carner is the former publisher of Savvy Woman magazine and a lecturer at international women's economic forums. This is her fifth novel.
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- When Brooke first decides to go to Moscow, her goal is to gain expertise about the new market in order to save her job. Discuss the change in her goals once she arrives at the Gorbachevskaya Street Factory.generic viagra price canada
- It’s widely believed that friendship can transcend cultures. Can it really? Discuss Brooke’s relationship with the Russian women she meets in light of her realization of their anti-Semitic past (Olga) or present (Svetlana).generic viagra price canada
- How has escaping her sad home and the legacy of the Holocaust affected Brooke? Did she gain the freedom she sought?generic viagra price canada
- With the fall of communism Russian women lost their rights and the safety nets of social services. Discuss what legal rights they had that women in the United States did not have and what rights we had that they sorely needed.generic viagra price canada
- Corruption in 1993 Russia seems to have pervaded every sphere of life. Discuss what you’ve learned from the novel, what feeds it, and what, you believe, are the ways to rein it. Is it different from what we know of corruption in our own political, economic, or social systems?generic viagra price canada
- In the novel, we get a glimpse of the living conditions of most Russians during communism when we visit Svetlana’s and Vera’s apartments. What, if anything, did you find surprising? In what other ways did you see the Russian government’s indifference to its people?generic viagra price canada
- Judd becomes Brooke’s love interest, but it takes her time to trust him. Discuss your take on the development of their relationship. What is unique to them and where do you foresee it heading?generic viagra price canada
- Brooke carries with her two secrets that threaten to destroy her career. Yet she is thrilled when one of those secrets is exposed. Does it have the potential to destroy her the way the other might? Are they viewed differently in the context of our current mores? What about your own social environment?generic viagra price canada
- Svetlana commiserates with Brooke upon learning that Brooke works long hours, and believes that “they make you work so hard.” Discuss the differences in career choices and work lifestyle for people living under these the two superpowers.generic viagra price canada
- In spite of her high education, Olga is ignorant about the most basic business principals. The concept of capitalism is both revered and loathed. Discuss how a government controlled market economy is different from an open market economy—research, pricing, distribution, promotion. Do you believe that government should stay completely out of the game or impose some regulations and controls?generic viagra price canada
- When President Yeltsin was frustrated in his attempts to reform the old system and to pass new democratic laws, he fired the entire Duma, the Russian parliament whose members had been elected through a democratic process. (Or had they used their former power to be elected?) He eventually used the army to force them to leave the building and to subdue their sympathizers. What were his options before, during, and after the crisis? From what you know about Russia today, how have things changed?generic viagra price canada
- Brooke is looking forward to meeting her powerful host, Sidorov, until she meets him. Discuss his character. What was his motivation in inviting the group?generic viagra price canada
- Jenny is a colorful character who has taken control of her life and makes sure to be noticed. How is she perceived by her fellow American travelers and by the Russian women? What is her real motivation when she speaks with Sidorov?generic viagra price canada
- The Russian male characters vary. Compare Aleksandr, Sidorov, Viktor, and Belgorov. What typifies each and what motivates each?generic viagra price canada
- Judd tells Brooke about his father. How had Judd—a third generation survivor of the Holocaust—been affected by his family history?generic viagra price canada
- Brooke does not want her Judaism to be defined by the Holocaust or by anti-Semitism. Yet, has she found an answer at the end of this short visit to Russia? Did the past twenty years of running away from her legacy help her find a new way? What makes her Jewish?generic viagra price canada
- Judaism in our open, mostly secular Jewish society is seeking new definitions, new grooves. Discuss what it means to you to be Jewish. If you are a non-practicing Christian, what defines your Christianity?generic viagra price canada
- When Svetlana expresses anti-Semitic opinions, Brooke’s instinct to correct her is always pushed aside by more urgent issues. At the end, in spite of Svetlana’s repeated remarks, Brooke does everything to save her. Discuss what this means in terms of Brooke’s Jewish values.generic viagra price canada
- Russian women seem to have strong opinions about femininity. What does the notion of femininity mean to them, and how much is it the same or different in your social milieu?generic viagra price canada
- Olga gives Brooke a matryoshka doll. Discuss the symbolism of these nesting dolls both in the context of the novel and your own life.generic viagra price canada