13 August 2013

Today's Read: Lara's Gift by Annemarie O'Brien

Lara's Gift by Annemarie O'BrienHow would you feel if you were fourteen years old and had your dreams dashed, thanks to the birth of your brother? Lara had understood from a young age that one day she would take over the kennels from her father to breed and care for the borzoi dogs on Count Voronstov's estate. But when her mother gives birth to a son, the family's future is focused on him. Lara must hide both her dreams and her special ability to understand and connect to the dogs, especially her favorite, Ryczar.

On the eve my beloved Ryczar was born, under a bright, full moon, the north wind whistled and howled. Like a forest spirit gone mad with merriment, it ripped through the Wornozova Kennel and sprawling grounds of Count Voronstov's grand country estate. All night long, icy flakes of windswept snow drummed against the stable windows until the last pup was born at dawn.
Lara's Gift by Annemarie O'Brien (Random House / Alfred A. Knopf, 2013, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: imperial Russia; 1910, 1914; a count's country estate
  • Circumstances: Lara, a gifted dog breeder and handler is supplanted by her infant brother; she must find a way to follow her dreams, hide her gift of seeing the future, and protect the dogs from danger
  • Characters: Lara, 14 years old, and her father, mother, and brother; Alexander, a friend in the stable, other residents of the estate, the dogs
  • Genre: historical fiction
  • Themes & plot lines: girls' traditional roles, family relationships, spiritual connection to animals, care and breeding of dogs, life in Russia 100 years ago
  • Miscellaneous: impeccably researched; winner of starred reviews; author lived in Russia and has owned borzoi dogs
  • Get to know the author: visit O'Brien's website, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page
ISBN-13: 9780307931740
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).

18 comments:

Franny 8/13/13, 6:00 AM  

That's a nice teaser, thanks for sharing and for stopping by my blog!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 8/13/13, 6:47 AM  

I really like the sound of this one. I think I will add it to my list even though I tend not to read much YA, although I do like coming of age stories.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow 8/13/13, 8:33 AM  

This one resonates with me; having one's role defined by sex has been a thorn in our sides most of our lives, if we were born at a certain time. Sounds like a good story....

Here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

Mystica 8/13/13, 8:34 AM  

Historical fiction and Russia is a nice mix. I'd certainly like to get to this one.

bermudaonion 8/13/13, 9:00 AM  

You know I'm not crazy about historical fiction but I don't know that I've read any set in Russia at that time. Regardless, I think this is a book my mother would love.

Daryl 8/13/13, 9:14 AM  

another wonderful YA novel!

Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf 8/13/13, 9:39 AM  

This one sounds beautiful...I love the lyricism in that short teaser!

JoAnn 8/13/13, 9:50 AM  

A woman in our town has a couple of borzois... such gorgeous dogs! I'm not much of a YA reader, but this sure would have appealed to me way back when.

Catherine Healey 8/13/13, 9:51 AM  

I can relate to the gender and birth order issues...I want to read this book!

Here's my Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2013/08/first-chapter-first-paragraph-26-and.html

Annemarie O'Brien 8/13/13, 9:52 AM  

Thank you, Beth and to everyone who has posted such kind words! xx, Annemarie

Liesel Hill 8/13/13, 10:12 AM  

Great tease. Hadn't heard of this one but I love Russia! I'll check it out! :D

I have teasers at both Musings on Fantasia and LKHill today. Happy Tuesday! :D

Heather 8/13/13, 10:52 AM  

I like this teaser--sounds like a good read. My teaser: Madame Bovary

Sandy Nawrot 8/13/13, 10:54 AM  

Wow, what a setting. I really need to hear more about this one.

Greg 8/13/13, 12:44 PM  

Very nice teaser, sounds like a fine book. Kinda mysterious!

Nise' 8/13/13, 3:47 PM  

Oh, I want to read this book!

Mei 8/13/13, 6:24 PM  

That sounds really interesting, and a bit like Deerskin by Robin McKinley.
Here's my Teaser Tuesday League of Strays
Author: L.B. Schulman

Mei @ Diary of a Fair Weather Diver

Beth Hoffman 8/13/13, 6:29 PM  

That's a terrific teaser!

Eustacia Tan 8/14/13, 9:30 AM  

The language is beautiful! What a great teaser!

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