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The runaway international bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now Lost Roses, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.

From the author of the million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls comes Lost Roses, which once again celebrates the unbreakable bonds of women’s friendship during the darkest days of history.

It is 1914, and New York socialite Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and now Eliza is embarking on the trip of a lifetime to see the splendors of Russia.

But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortune-teller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household.

On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend.

From the turbulent streets of St Petersburg and aristocratic countryside estates to the avenues of Paris to the mansions of Long Island, the lives of Eliza, Sofya and Varinka will intersect in profound ways.

'Kelly memorably portrays three indomitable women who triumph over hardships and successfully brings a complex and turbulent time in history to life.' Publishers Weekly

'Inspired by true events, just like its predecessor, and just as well-researched, Lost Roses is a remarkable story and another testament to female strength. This sweeping epic will thrill and delight fans of Lilac Girls and readers of historical fiction alike.' PopSugar


A nuanced tale that speaks to the strengths of women.

Kirkus Reviews

Kelly is back with another epic tale of three women's lives overlapping against the backdrop of history... Kelly's gift is bringing to life and to light the untold stories of women and families far away from the war front. Fans of historical fiction will want to clear their calendars when Lost Roses comes out.


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Formats & editions

  • Lost Roses
    Martha Hall Kelly

    Trade Paperback


    April 2, 2019

    Michael Joseph Australia

    448 pages

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • Audio Download


    April 2, 2019

    Random House AU Audio Adult

    Online retailers

    • Audible NZ
    • Google Play Audio NZ
    • Kobo Audiobook
  • EBook


    April 2, 2019

    Penguin eBooks

    448 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ





I only put the centipede in Eliza’s slipper since I thought she was stealing my sister Sofya from me. I was eight years old and had just lost my mother. I couldn’t lose Sofya, too.

Eliza Ferriday, an American friend of the family, had taken us in for a week at her Paris apartment, two Russian cousins to the tsar forced from our St. Petersburg home before Christmas. Our father had remarried and gone to Sardinia on honeymoon with his new wife, Agnessa, who loathed me since, when she visited us in November, I first practiced my centipede skills on her. She especially hated my favorite interest, astronomy, and convinced Father to take away my maps of the constellations, saying they distracted me from French lessons. Though she tried to lure me out with the gift of a doll- sized Limoges tea set I spent most of November barricaded in my bedroom.

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