The Mirrored World (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews


The author of The Madonnas of Leningrad returns with a breathtaking
historical novel surrounding the royal court in eighteenth century St.
Petersburg. With wit and imagination, Dean reconstructs the story
behind one of Russia's most revered and holiest figures, St. Xenia.
You'll follow Xenia as she attends lavish ice balls, dances and operas.
Born to a family of lower nobility, Xenia is a free-spirited young
woman who cares naught for social conventions; she's a carefree dreamer
who most unexpectedly falls in love with a dashing soldier, Andrei.
Xenia and Andrei marry, though their marriage becomes overshadowed by
the demands of court and Xenia's obsession with having a child. After
years of trying, Andrei and Xenia conceive a daughter, but Xenia is
convinced her newly discovered happiness will be taken from her in some
unspeakable tragedy - a tragedy that comes true. Xenia withdraws into
her grief and becomes a recluse. She turns from her family and friends
and begins giving away her wealth and belongings to the poor until one
day she vanishes without a trace. Years later, she is discovered tending
to the poor wearing the tattered remains of her husband's uniform and
has become known as a soothsayer and healer but is feared by the new
Empress, Catherine. The Mirrored World is a lyrical, haunting portrayal
of love, madness and devotion that will stay with you long after you've
turned the final page.

— Bess

Description


The critically acclaimed author of The Madonnas of Leningrad ("Elegant and poetic, the rare kind of book that you want to keep but you have to share" --Isabel Allende), Debra Dean returns with The Mirrored World, a breathtaking novel of love and madness set in 18th century Russia. Transporting readers to St. Petersburg during the reign of Catherine the Great, Dean brilliantly reconstructs and reimagines the life of St. Xenia, one of Russia's most revered and mysterious holy figures, in a richly told and thought-provoking work of historical fiction that recounts the unlikely transformation of a young girl, a child of privilege, into a saint beloved by the poor.

Praise For…


“In her excellent second novel, THE MIRRORED WORLD, Debra Dean has composed a resonant and compelling tale. . . . Dean’s writing is superb; she uses imagery natural to the story and an earlier time.”
-Seattle Times

“For those familiar with the story of St. Xenia, this is a gratifying take on a compelling woman. For others, Dean’s vivid prose and deft pacing make for a quick and entertaining read.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Love affairs, rivalries, intrigues, prophecy, cross-dressing, madness, sorrow, poverty—THE MIRRORED WORLD is a litany of both the homely and the miraculous. Intimate and richly appointed, Debra Dean’s Imperial St. Petersburg is as sumptuous and enchanted as the Winter Palace.”
-Stewart O’Nan, bestselling author of Last Night at the Lobster

“THE MIRRORED WORLD explores the mysteries of love and grief and devotion. Against a vivid backdrop of eighteenth century St. Petersburg and Catherine the Great’s royal court, the woman who would become St. Xenia is brought fully to life. Is there a more imaginative, elegant storyteller than Debra Dean?”
-Ann Hood, bestselling author of The Knitting Circle

“With evocative, rich prose and deep emotional resonance, Debra Dean delivers a compelling and captivating story that touches the soul. Truly a wonderful read.”
-Garth Stein, bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

“Transporting readers to St. Petersburg during the reign of Catherine the Great, Dean brilliantly reconstructs and reimagines the life of St. Xenia, one of Russia’s most revered and mysterious holy figures, in a richly told and thought-provoking work of historical fiction.”
-Bookreporter.com

“Dean’s novel grows more profound and affecting with every page.”
-Booklist

“In Debra Dean’s skilled hands, history comes alive. . . . Though the world she creates is harsh and cold at times, it is the warmth at its center— the power of love — that stays with you in the end.”
-Miami Herald

Product Details
ISBN: 9780061231452
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: August 1st, 2012
Pages: 256

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