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Gone by Nightfall
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 21st 2020
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
A young woman is torn between her home and her dreams during the Russian Revolution.
It’s 1916, and Charlotte Mason is determined to make a life for herself in czarist Russia. When her mother dies, Charlotte is forced to put her plans to go to medical school aside to care for her unruly siblings. Then a handsome new tutor arrives. Charlotte has high hopes that he’ll stay, freeing her up to follow her dreams of becoming a doctor. But there’s more to Dmitri that meets the eye.
Just when she thinks she can get her life back, Russia descends into revolution and chaos. Now, not only does Charlotte need to leave Russia, she needs to get her siblings out too–and fast.
Can Charlotte flee Russia, keep her siblings safe, and uncover Dmitri’s many secrets before she runs out of time?
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“Yes, don’t believe everything my sister says,” Miles added. “She’s actually the real troublemaker of the family. Would you believe she once ran away intending to join the circus?”
I put up my hands. “Miles! Stop. I’m sure Dmitri Antonovich doesn’t want to hear our family stories. That was years ago.”
Stepan piped up. “Maybe the tutor wouldn’t want to hear, but he might like to see you juggle on horseback and on a unicycle. That’s her talent. She was sure the circus would give her a job. Show him how you can juggle, Lottie.”
I closed my eyes for a moment and forced myself to take a couple of deep breaths. When I opened them I saw Dmitri looking at me.
His mouth twitched like he was trying not to smile. “That is quite a talent,” he said. “I’d like to see that sometime.”
I absolutely could not picture myself juggling in front of him. I’d drop everything.
Miles’s attention was caught by something out the window. “Charlotte, your friend is in the courtyard.” He turned around and smiled at me. “When are you going to tell us about your mysterious peasant?”
“Don’t be such a snob.” I needed to get downstairs and see if the man was still watching the house. Ivan would have to be careful when he left if the man was still there. “He’s not my mysterious peasant. Mr. Sokolov, my brother is just trying to stir up trouble. Miles, you know very well it’s Ivan.”
“It’s mysterious that Ivan comes all the way to Petrograd to visit you.”
I didn’t like the sly tone in Miles’s voice. I hadn’t realized he’d been paying attention to Ivan’s visits. “Stop acting like you don’t know he delivers the wood.”
Miles could be so infuriating at times. I knew I shouldn’t let him bait me. It was always better to ignore him. “I have to go to the hospital so I won’t be back until after dinner,” I said. “Hap, I’m counting on you to let Dmitri Antonovich know the schedule.”
When I opened the door to leave, Nika tumbled inside. I knew what she’d been doing.
“Nika, you shouldn’t eavesdrop!”
She got up and smiled. “I’m not Nika, I’m Sophie.”
The twins never gave up trying to fool us. “You are definitely Nika. Where is Sophie?” I asked.
Sophie poked her head around the door. “I’m here, but I’m Nika. We wanted to meet the new tutor.”
I noticed Polina had succeeded in getting them dressed, but they still had orange hands and hair. “Where’s Polina?” I asked, wondering how they’d managed to escape from her again.
“Nika, I mean Sophie, spilled milk on her,” Sophie said. “She had to go change.”
The best way to get them back to Polina without an argument would be to give them a look at the tutor. “Dmitri Antonovich, may I present my sisters, Sofiya Feodorovna Cherkasskaya and Veronika Feodorovna Cherkasskaya,” I said. “They’re a little hard to tell apart if you don’t know them, but Nika has a scar on her cheek from falling out of a tree she wasn’t supposed to climb.”
The two giggled. Dmitri bowed. “I am delighted to make your acquaintance, ladies.”
The twins’ eyes widened. Nika grabbed Sophie’s hand. “You have a nice nose,” Nika blurted out and then dragged Sophie out of the room.
Dmitri looked totally bemused. “I’ve never been complimented on my nose before,” he said.
He actually did have a nice nose.
Dee Garretson spent her childhood helping her father build his offbeat inventions and playing adventure games in the woods. After working as a landscape designer and teaching landscape horticulture classes for several years, Dee returned to writing. Her debut novel, Wildfire Run, has been praised for its suspense and its hero, Luke, who “with his companions, displays generous measures of courage and ingenuity in rising to the occasion” (ALA Booklist). She lives with her family in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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