Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: St Petersburg

The Porcelain Doll

The Porcelain Doll

Why a Booktrail?

In a faraway kingdom, in a long-ago land ……

  • ISBN: 978-0749028602
  • Genre: Guide book, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

Rosie lived peacefully in Moscow and her mother told her fairy tales. One summer night, all that came abruptly to an end when her father and sister were gunned down. Now, Rosie’s only inheritance from her reclusive mother is a notebook full of eerie, handwritten tales but there is another story lurking between the lines.

Currently studying at Oxford University, Rosie has a fiancé who knows nothing of her former life. But desperate for answers to the questions that have tormented her, Rosie returns to her homeland and uncovers a devastating family history which spans the 1917 Revolution, the siege of Leningrad, Stalin’s purges and beyond.

At the heart of those answers stands a young noblewoman, Tonya, as pretty as a porcelain doll, whose actions reverberate across the century …

Travel Guide

Discover Russian novels and Russian culture via The Porcelain Doll

The author says at the end that her novel is one about stories hidden between the lines. About the unsaid, unspolen, unformed, unfathomable, The context of Stalin’s Russia, in which peoplw were forced to keep secrets, to hold thir togues, to lead performative lives, in a number of ways, lends itself to such themes.

Some characters are a mix of fact and fiction:

Alexy is the author’s own creation but  there are a few superficial similarities etween the life of eh writer Alexander |Solzhenitsyn and that of Alexey.


In the book Rusian Fairy tales bu Alexader Afanasyev, one of the stories includes the tale of Vasilisa  the Beautiful, a girl who defers to the wisdom and resourcrfulnesss of a magical taking doll. The stories in Tonya’s book are  inventions of the author but pay homage to this story and others like it.


Inspired by several real life figures such  as Viktor Serge.


Tonya’s house – inspired by the Romanovs private roms in the Winter Palace

There are several references to the novel Anna Karenina and readers are encouraged to find them.

BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Porcelain Doll

Destination/Location: St Petersburg   Author: Kristen Loesch  Departure: 1917 and 2000s

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