Wanted to throw it in the fire after the first couple of chapters (hated the protagonist), but once Nina showed up it started getting better and continued that trend until it was nearly five stars by the finish. And it was probably a better book for me having hated the main character at the beginning. Felt like I was reading scenes from Grand Budapest Hotel at times - setting is obviously similar, but the tone also.

“Does a banquet really need an asparagus server?” “Does an orchestra need a bassoon?”

“For as it turns out, one can revisit the past quite pleasantly, as long as one does so expecting nearly every aspect of it to have changed.”

“I’ll tell you what is convenient,” he said after a moment. “To sleep until noon and have someone bring you your breakfast on a tray. To cancel an appointment at the very last minute. To keep a carriage waiting at the door of one party, so that on a moment’s notice it can whisk you away to another. To sidestep marriage in your youth and put off having children altogether. These are the greatest of conveniences, Anushka—and at one time, I had them all. But in the end, it has been the inconveniences that have mattered to me most.”

Cover image for A Gentleman in Moscow