In the fall of 1941, the German army begins what would become the 900 day siege of
Russia Leningrad, also known as St.
Petersburg, is home of the .
It is up to staff members of the Museum, such as a young Hermitage Museum , to save the numerous masterpieces
from the Nazi forces. She, along with thousands of other workers, endure incessant German bombing, constant hunger,
frigid temperatures, and daily exhaustion to successfully resist Hitler’s
directive No. 1601 ordering that “St. Petersburg must be erased from the face
of the Earth.” Marina
Fast forward to some sixty years later when
is attending her granddaughter’s wedding. Marina is confused as to the present but “Her
distant past is preserved, better than preserved. Moments that occurred in Marina sixty-some years
ago reappear, vivid, plump, and perfumed.” Leningrad
remembers the paintings of the Madonnas of Leningrad is an integral part of the
book. The juxtaposition of Marina Marina’s confusion to
the present and ’
vivid memory of the past is another important aspect of the book. Debra Dean’s
meticulous research allows the reader to see the Hermitage’s paintings in great
detail. The author’s depiction of those with Alzheimer’s is told with beauty
and with unexpected humor. Marina
In the end, The Madonnas of Leningrad, is a book about how we remember and how those memories serve us. Her words remind us that memory is precious and can make us cry and laugh in ways we might never predict.