With the release of Light at Lavelle, Paullina Simons delivers another unforgettable historical novel for fans of The Bronze Horseman.
Isabelle Lazar is a young Ukrainian farmer in 1929. She is fierce and brave when their idyllic family life is threatened by new Soviet Union decrees. But after unrelenting hardship, terror and famine, Isabelle flees her homeland, arriving alone and broken in Boston, unsure of her family’s fate.
Finn Evans’ life is turning out just as he has planned. He is a successful Boston banker with a beautiful wife, Vanessa, and two lovely children. As a favour to his tailor, he agrees to move Isabelle into his home to help with household chores, much to Vanessa’s chagrin, but the children are soon enamoured by the exotic addition to their home who showers them with attention.
But then the stock market crashes and Finn’s world collapses around him. As he fights to save his family from being thrown out onto the street, he can no longer ignore Vanessa’s increasing isolation and emotional instability. When things are at their worst, he finds an undeniable connection with Isabelle, who turns out to be the most resilient and resourceful of them all. But then they discover that even after so much loss, there may still be more left to lose.
Light at Lavelle pulls on the heartstrings, a breathtakingly compelling love story set in historical times that vividly brings to life events in Ukraine in Soviet Times and life in the USA during the Great Depression. This is an unforgettable story that will linger long after reading.
Reviewer: Karen McMillan
Pan Macmillan Publishers
This review was also published in the Sunday Star Times.