A Glass of Wine with a Gentleman in Moscow
'These days nearly everyone seems connected to Russia. I am too. I fell in love with a Gentleman in Moscow when I met Count Rostov in the warm splendor of the dining room at the Hotel Metropol. Condemned by the Bolsheviks to living a life in place for the simple crime of being a poet, the Count spends decades in the Metropol Hotel. A steep flight of stairs is all that separates his solitary attic room from the buzzing restaurant that is the limits of his universe. Stepping outside means death.
"A room that exists in secret can, regardless of its dimensions, seem as vast as one cares to imagine."
As the decades progress and the Soviet world crushes everything and everyone he holds dear, his imprisonment is what grants him freedom. He finds a career, becomes a father, falls in love, savors the surprising richness of wines without provenance, and discovers that preparing a proper bouillabaisse is how friendships are forged. His unlikely friendships transcend class and age and convention, revealing how connected we can and should be. His surprising civility towards his enemies seems quaint in these loud and boisterous days, but is a mirror that we may want to glance towards to see if by treating others better we may learn from them and influence them. Probably not, but it's a nice thought.
If you haven't read Amor Towles' A Gentleman in Moscow you are missing out on a gorgeous book. It illuminates just how meaningful life can be if we take the time to sit down, enjoy a glass of wine, say hello to strangers, and love them for what they bring not for what they lack. We can create our own world and it can be beautiful. #ReadThisBook #OneNightStand
P.S. If I ever get captured by the Russians, I hope they confine me to the Metropol Hotel. Looking forward to meeting you Count Rostov.