Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow, is simply put, enchanting.
The writing is effortless, and is the perfect blend of description, dialogue, a background splash of non-convoluted politics and colourful characters that you can imagine very easily coming to life on the screen.
The book begins in 1922 and spans over 30 years in Moscow, in a charming old-world hotel, which becomes the residence of a certain Count Alexander Rostov, whose life is spared by the Bolsheviks, but is sent to reside in the tiny attic of the hotel for life, unable to leave the hotel premises.
Diverse and colourful characters walk in and out of the hotel, along with the regular hotel staff who provide a wonderfully lively cast in this beautifully told story of how life can change in an instant, how relationships with different people can keep a person going, and how a versatile character can find purpose in his life when others in his place would find it hard to.
Between the hotel maitre d’, the chef, a waiter with a chip on his shoulder, a little girl that appears out of nowhere, a swarm of bees and an actress and a high stationed Bolshevik, there is never a dull moment.
The book is full of entertaining and enchanting conversations, good food and great wine, making you long for an outing to get some yourself.