This was a half-book. A story of an elderly woman who is suffering from Alzheimer's with her husband and children coping the best that they can. I appreciate the author's idea of flashbacks and retained memories, but I felt like I was never in the loop with what was happening. For some of the book I couldn't tell if it was Marina's actual memories or just a telling of her past. Most of the individuals were not fully developed or just unlikable in my opinion.
Being at the bombing of Leningrad and caring for the paintings at the Hermitage Museum, is where Marina's story was at its best. However, many questions are opened up and then never fully developed.
There is a lot of talk about individual paintings in the Museum and their importance to history but then it is never tied back to the story of Marina's escape from Russia, her marriage and her eventual bout with Alzheimer's. Why did she memorize the paintings, did it help bring them back after the war, how did she just happen upon her future husband at a prison camp, what happened to her uncle's children, etc. etc.
Missing too much to enjoy.