The Imperial Wife

The Imperial Wife is a smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women Irina Reyn writes beautifully of immigrants, art and the vagaries of love Jess Walter, National Book Award finalist and author of the New York Times bestseller, Beautiful RuinsTwo women s lives collide when a priceless Russian artifact comes to light.Tanya Kagan, The Imperial Wife is a smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women Irina Reyn writes beautifully of immigrants, art and the vagaries of love Jess Walter, National Book Award finalist and author of the New York Times bestseller, Beautiful RuinsTwo women s lives collide when a priceless Russian artifact comes to light.Tanya Kagan, a rising specialist in Russian art at a top New York auction house, is trying to entice Russia s wealthy oligarchs to bid on the biggest sale of her career, The Order of Saint Catherine, while making sense of the sudden and unexplained departure of her husband.As questions arise over the provenance of the Order and auction fever kicks in, Reyn takes us into the dazzling world of Catherine the Great, the infamous 18th century empress, who may have owned the priceless artifact, and who, it turns out, faced many of the same issues Tanya wrestles with in her own life.Suspenseful and beautifully written, The Imperial Wife asks whether we view female ambition any differently today than we did in the past Can a contemporary marriage withstand an Imperial Wife
The Imperial Wife The Imperial Wife is a smart engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women Irina Reyn writes beautifully of immigrants art and the vagaries of love Jess Walter Nationa

  • Title: The Imperial Wife
  • Author: Irina Reyn
  • ISBN: 9781250076038
  • Page: 146
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Imperial Wife”

    1. I received a copy of The Imperial Wife through the Giveaways on . My thanks to St. Martin's Press and to Irina Reyn for the opportunity."You were meant for greater."A woman with a gift. Simply acknowledged or magnificently complicated. A bold step into the light or a retreat into the familiar shadows of obscurity.Irina Reyn presents her story with the paralleled lives of Catherine the Great of Russia and present-day Tanya Vandermotter of New York City. Tanya is a Russian art specialist who authe [...]

    2. ARC received courtesy of First Reads GiveawayThis is the parallel story of Tanya, Russian art expert, and Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia. I've never known much at all about Russian history so the story of Catherine the Great's rise to power was fascinating to me! To come from Germany as the bride of the Crown Prince of Russia, then depose her husband and take control of the country! She was truly a fierce woman! Tanya is the art expert at an auction house in New York. Because she immigr [...]

    3. I received this book for free through Bookstr’s (formerly The Reading Room) giveaways. I give this 3.5 stars which rounds up to 4. I liked this but I wasn’t in love with it. I really liked the historical aspects of it. It was fun learning more about Catherine the Great since I knew very little about her. The way her story was told reminded me of how Mary Queen of Scots’s story was told on the show Reign. The present day story, on the other hand, was good but it wasn’t satisfactory. It wa [...]

    4. This book would be for anyone who has an interest in Russian history or art. It is very well researched. The book has a dual storyline set in present day New York and in Russia during the 1700s during the life of Catherine the Great. The connection between the storylines is the Order of St. Catherine.The New York storyline is set in one of the top auction houses in the city if not the world and the main character, Tanya, is a Russian art expert. Tanya works at authenticating the Order of St. Cat [...]

    5. Beautifully written novel that alternates time periods between present day New York and Catherine the Great's reign (and just prior to it). The Russian art auction world (and its associated oligarchs) as well as Catherine the Great's history are two areas I knew nothing about. Loved this and kept me googling for hours.

    6. This is a really enjoyable book. I had the chance to talk with Irina at Golden Notebook Bookstore, to ask her about this book's genesis, and it was so interesting to hear her talk about wanting to read fiction about women in the working world. One thing she mentioned was that one rarely reads about married women in the workplace--and this book's main character, Tanya, is an intelligent, competent woman, who nevertheless finds it complicated to navigate both her job and her marriage. I enjoyed re [...]

    7. This story explores two very different lives that have all things Russian in common. You have Tanya the Russian antiquities art dealer and Catherine the Great. Catherine is the recipient of The Order a pricey imperial award and Tanya handles it's sale. Suprizingly the two women have many things in common: immigrant status, feeling trapped in a role, ethical concerns, troubled marriages, inaffectional husbands, and a quest for something more. I loved this book at first but it dragged near the end [...]

    8. True Rating: 3.5 StarsClassic Russian literature is one of my newfound loves, but other than the bits of Napoleonic trivia I gleaned from War and Peace and the period surrounding the Bolshevik Revolution, I know shockingly little about Russian history. I've heard of Catherine the Great, of course, but the details of her life and the reason she was considered great was an unanswered question. I was excited to pick this book, hoping it would at least temporarily sate my ever-growing curiosity abou [...]

    9. So it starts out really promising. A Russian art specialist, a marriage in drama, an epic auction about to go down and glimpses into the past of Catherine the Great, the longest female ruler or Russia. But the more I read, the less excited I got.To begin with I really liked Tanya, our present day heroine. I like how she thinks and feels about art, her ambition and drive to become something, her relationship to everything Russian and her thoughts on immigration. But as the story went on I felt mo [...]

    10. I found this book perplexing and the ending was completely unsatisfying. The Imperial Wife tells two stories--the first is the story of young Catherine the Great, the second, the modern day story of Tanya Kagan Vandermotter, a Russian American art Specialist who works for one of the elite auction houses in New York City, dealing with art collectors and wealthy Russian oligarchs. What unites these two stories is the historic artifact medal of the Order of St. Catherine, which has come into Tanya' [...]

    11. I received a copy of "The Imperial Wife" from NetGalley for an honest review. I wish to thank NetGalley, Thomas Dunne Books, and Irina Reyn for the opportunity to read this book.First of all, let me say that I adore the Russian period between Catherine the Great and the Romanovs. It is fascinating and filled with so much intrigue! So the juxtaposition of the two main characters was right on point for me. The author writes so beautifully with lovely prose that evokes a picture of the scenes in al [...]

    12. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. At the outset--thrilled. This is my kind of book. Dual story line with an interesting historical period. Present day art/auction scene and Russian "capitalists" paralleled with imperial Russia--Catherine the Great. What a fabulous premise!But. This book never really captured me. I found the descriptions of the inner workings of the contemporary art auction scene fascinating and illuminating. The sections on Catherine and her i [...]

    13. What to ExpectGood writing, but not as good plot and characters. However, I'm writing my own book right now and a lot of my complaints about this one relate to areas I struggle with writing. Nevertheless, I did feel the lacking parts of this story and I will talk about them.Trope Check*historical artifact links history and modern times*MC has marriage problems and weird in-laws*lives of the rich and famous stuff*brand-name-dropping to indicate how rich people are*the unnecessary rich mean girl t [...]

    14. This is a wonderful book that takes the reader on a trip through modern day NYC, as well as to Russia during the time of Catherine the Great (Sophia Agusta Frederica). The transition between the two time periods flow flawlessly. During the modern era in NYC, the protagonist is Tanya, a Russian expat. Tanya works for a high end auction house in Manhattan. She is an expert on Russian Art. Of course the protagonist in Russia during the 1700's is Sophie, the future Catherine the Great.The auction ho [...]

    15. I was very intrigued by the promise of this book. Being Russian, I am always interested in books about Russian history and Russian art. This book promised both but unfortunately did not deliver. It was interesting to read about young Catherine on her way to become Catherine the Great. However, various historic inaccuracies threw me off a bit. To give an example, Catherine's ladies in waiting were given historically inaccurate names, Victoria and Evgenia (Zhenia). These two names appeared much la [...]

    16. Oh! This book. I am not Jewish. I am not an immigrant. I am not Russian. So how could I find so many answers about my life in a book about these things I am not? There are so many levels of excellence going on in this novel I couldn't begin to do the author, or the book, justice by trying to summarize it here in a few sentences or paragraphs. Irina Reyn, you made lightbulbs go off in my head all throughout the story. It was as if I was too busy climbing out of the ghetto to stop and look around [...]

    17. Summary: This was a light, fast read with great parallel storylines, but an unsatisfying ending."Tanya Kagan, a rising specialist in Russian art at a top New York auction house, is trying to entice Russia's wealthy oligarchs to bid on the biggest sale of her career, The Order of Saint Catherine, while making sense of the sudden and unexplained departure of her husband." (source) As we learn more the provenance of the order and its ownership by Catherine the Great, there are clear parallels betwe [...]

    18. I won an ARC of The Imperial Wife in a Giveaway and this is my sincere review. I was thoroughly captivated by this novel from the beginning. The story of the child, Tatiana, who emigrated to the USA from Russia with her parents. Tanya is now a Russian Art History Specialist at the Auction House of Worthington. The auction house is getting ready for a great event which will feature Catherine the Great 's Order of Saint Catherine Sash. Here, Irina Reyn, the author, excels at showing us a slice of [...]

    19. This is a book about a relic that belonged to Catherine the Great and has come up for auction in present day. In the present Tanya, is a Russian art specialist employed by a toney auction house and is the daughter of Russian immigrants. She is charged with the sale of this important historical artifact. Two voices alternate throughout the book - those of Tanya and Catherine. I was slightly put off at first by the twin tales d I am not sure just whybut it felt as if the voices did not really conn [...]

    20. I wanted to like this and I finished it hoping that it would get better but it never did. IT started out well - a woman working at an auction house comes across an important item that belonged to Catherine the Great. She is also having marital troubles with her author husband. The books goes back and forth between the present day and the time of Catherine the Great. Usually I am much more interested in the historical story but it was not done well at all. It may have been interesting if you knew [...]

    21. This book enticed me to read it because it has some of the story of Russia's Catherine the Great. My Mennonite ancestors found refuge in Russia to claim their conscientous objector status. They left for Canada when her reign ended.There two stories told by two different women - one in the present and one starting in 1744. I didn't think the two different tales were good as take offs on each other even though there were some connections. I enjoyed the Catherine story but not the present day story [...]

    22. I found it easy to follow the historical portion of this book and truly enjoyed and learned from it. However, the present day portion seemed disjointed to me and made it difficult to follow.

    23. Past and present collide in The Imperial Wife, which acts as Irina Reyn's second novel.This book consists of two time periods, so at times it feels like you’re reading two different books. The main storyline follows Tanya as she navigates the modern work landscape and her marriage in present-day New York. Readers are also exposed to the storyline of Catherine the Great, who reigned as the Empress of Russia, and what her path to power looked like. These two unlikely characters—modern Tanya a [...]

    24. Reading Notes--not a reviewWhat a bitch (Tonya)! Husband writes book on subject. Wife obtains a super-super-super thing related to it. Won't let hubby see it. Oh and she dislikes her hubby for "judging" people who don't hold to morals like not shoplifting. RightWouldn't people who read Russian poetry at bedtime drink something more interesting than Earl Grey tea?She needs to quit looking down her nose at her parents. They are so much betterI really cannot stand TonyaLots of odd, often pretentiou [...]

    25. I really liked certain aspects of this book - I enjoyed Tanya's sections the most and found reading about her career in an auction house working with Russian oligarchs to be very interesting. I feel like most novels with female protagonists tend to focus primarily on the woman's relationships, usually with men, so it was a bit of treat to read one that was more interested in her career. The chapters about Catherine were interesting and well written but the Tanya chapters were so much more immedi [...]

    26. The Imperial Wife, Irina ReynSecond book I've read recently involving, to some degree, Russian Oligarchs buying art. This novel focuses on Tanya, a Russian Jewish immigrant who now heads Russian art at a famous New York auction house. Tanya is putting together a big auction which she hopes will include Catherine the Great's Order of Saint Catherine, as long as she can authenticate the piece's origin. In the meantime, her marriage to her husband, Carl the writer and professor, appears to be falli [...]

    27. I had such high expectations for this novel. The novel tells two stories one from the perspective of Catherine the Great and one from a modern day female character who is auctioning off the Order of Catherine. In my opinion the novel needed to develop more of the characters. I felt the modern day story was explored more in depth than Catherine's. I would have liked to seen more of Catherine's. Both characters struggled in relationships. but there was no weaving of the stories, no similarities in [...]

    28. After the initial confusion, I was able to follow the book, but it wasn't clear until the very end what the reason for the two concurrent stories was. I'm not sure what the best solution is, but the current form is unsettling at best :-(. I don't think that I am in agreement that the story about the Princess/queen is the worse, as I read in another review. I liked that one, and it felt more complete than the other. The other one felt disconnected and inconclusive. Overall, I guess it was an okay [...]

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