Six Days in Leningrad is a fantastic memoir, a pleasant surprise I wasn't expecting. I have never heard of Paullina Simons before, but quickly jumped at the chance to review this book because of my love of memoirs.
Simons traveled to Russia with her father as part of the research she was conducting for an upcoming novel, The Bronze Horseman. Born in Russia, Paullina lived there until she was ten, then moved to the United States. Although this trip back home was for research purposes, it was also an amazing experience for Paullina to go back to where she had lived when she was little.
Places that Paullina had built up in her mind were not always as she remembered them. The home she has happy memories of is dilapidated looking. In fact, although she has no recollection of her bedroom being in a kitchen, that is what she comes to realize when she sees her former bedroom as an adult.
She tries to find her great-grandmother's grave with her father, a task they find extremely difficult and almost give up on, only to be rewarded with their driver's persistence in finding it.
These personal stories made Paullina's trip to Leningrad come to life for me. I loved the way Simons wrote about her trip by incorporating her own childhood memories into this book.
This is a fast read. I flew through it quickly and also loved seeing the photographs that Paullina included
I know that fans of Simons other books will love this one, but even without knowing Simons previously, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thanks to TLC Books for providing a copy of this book for my review. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.
Six Days in Leningrad is published by Harper Collins and can be purchased on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.