Zoya: a history lite novel

Crest of Imperial Russia is focus point of Zoya front cover
Zoya was a Romanov cousin

Zoya is a Danielle Steel, riches-to-riches romance about a distant cousin of Tsar who loses everything but her life in the October Revolution.

Alone of their household escape, Zoya, 17, and her grandmother to France.

Zoya’s works as a ballerina and grandmother sells her jewels to keep support them during World War I.

Rescued by Zoya’s marriage to a rich American soldier, they once more live a life almost on a par with the Romanov days.

A few years and two children later, Clayton is dead, his money wiped out in the ’29 stock market crash.

Zoya works as a burlesque dancer before landing a job in high-end dress shop.

On a buying trip to Paris, she meets Simon Hirsch. They marry, have a son, which further alienates Zoya’s daughter, who resents both years of being poor and her mother’s remarriage.

Simon encourages Zoya to start her own store, which is immensely profitable.

After Pearl Harbor, Simon enlists and is killed.

Zoya is left at 40 with three children, a store to run, and Simon’s extensive businesses to oversee.

There’s not enough history in Zoya to call it historical fiction. The historical incidents are merely billboards glimpsed as the limousine full of cardboard characters drives by.

Zoya by Danielle Steel
Delacourt Press. ©1988. 446 p.
1988 bestseller #3; my grade: c+

©2019 Linda G. Aragoni