Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Midnight Country by Michael Mullen

Synopsis :


The epic story of three sisters and their turbulent lives, tied to the destinies of Germany, Austria and Russia in the unstable years leading up to World War I.

It is midnight, New Year's Eve 1900, and three women gaze out over the rooftops of snowy Vienna, contemplating the promise of a golden future.  The dawn of a new century and the glittering Emperor's ball await them, enough to fulfill any young lady's dreams of social success..

But Sophie, Alma and Marie Schmerling have ambitions that will take them far beyond the samll intrigues af Viennese society.  The winter snows of St Petersburg, the brash cafes of prosperous Berlin, they want all the vast and thriving empire has to offer.  

I think I get what the author was trying to convey through the title - The Midnight Country after reading the book.  To keep it simple, it's story of ending of empires, of way of life and social culture and the dawn of a new era for and I guess midnight best represents all that...the ending of a day and the beginning of another.

The story centred around the three sisters, Sophie, Alma and Marie Schmerling.  We also see changes happening in the word through their stepfather, Joseph Steiner, a very rich Jew.  We also witness the political turmoil across European countries....Austria, Germany and Russia, in particular.  All sisters have quite equal start but went on different path.  Sophie's a rather savy business woman and rather industrious.  Alma decided on life of a royalty at great expense while Marie walked the life of a revolutionary.

The author draws on the great historical  happening during that era and famous figures such as the Tsar, Rasputin and Lenin were part of the storyline so it's rather a mis-mash of facts and fictions. 

It was quite a good book with plots that brings reader back to the turn of the century and the years leading up to the first world war.

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