I need to think of a name for the category of books, both fiction and non, that make me very glad to be living here and now. This book would definitely be a part of that group.
The Madonnas of Leningrad is set in both 1941 Leningrad and present day America. The protagonist survived the siege of Leningrad while working at the Hermitage protecting the paintings and other works of art. In the present day, she's suffering from Alzheimers and in her mind travels between the present where she's lost and her experiences in Leningrad.
The more I read, the more amazed I am at how awful we (people) are to one another. The book spends most of the time in Leningrad focused on the museum, but does talk about some of the horrors of every day life. The thought of millions of people starving and freezing to death is so overwhelming. I'm almost at the point that I really don't want to read about these things anymore.
There is plenty of praise on goodreads for this novel. I liked it, but didn't feel OMG about it. There were a few things that I thought, "Huh?" Sometimes I need things to be blatantly obvious before I get them though.
The book was interesting in both its exploration of a woman with Alzheimers and the setting of the siege of Leningrad.