The five-volume Sonja series of books relives the final days of the might of Imperial Russia.
The story takes off from Switzerland in the late 1940s, and from the shores of Lake Geneva, where Marshal Mannerheim, the former Finnish commander-in-chief and President, is spending his retirement. Mannerheim receives a mysterious manuscript containing the memoirs of a Russian noblewoman, Sonja Orbeliani. Orbeliani lays out her life story, which is closely linked to the Marshal’s youth and early adult years in Russia, when he was serving as an officer in the Imperial Cavalry.
Laila Hirvisaari’s novels describe not merely the fabled splendour of the era, with its gilded palaces and glittering ball-gowns, but also the dark secrets of Czarist Russia and the mayhem of war and revolution.
Sonja Orbeliani’s path takes her from the young ladies’ academy at Smolna to the Imperial Court. Her life is indelibly linked with the dramatic fates of the last Czars and the earth-shaking changes that overtook world history at the beginning of the 20th century.
The five volumes are:
- Sonja, 1993
- The White Acacias, 1994
- Rising Storm Clouds, 1995
- The Nightingale Forest, 1996
- Victoria, 1997