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The Summer Palace  By  cover art

The Summer Palace

By: S. Forrest Nomakeo
Narrated by: David Akiva Klionsky
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Publisher's summary

Seventeenth-century Russia remains very much a patriarchal society.

For the headstrong and willful Katia, daughter of Baron Alexei Sergeyevich Ulenka, life in the terem (a palace sanctuary where the virtue of girls is safeguarded) is unbearable when all she wants to do is experience the freedom of riding a horse. But ride a horse she does. Dressed as a servant girl, Katia meets and goes riding with the darkly intriguing German stable boy Wiley. But Wiley is headstrong, too, and soon is challenged by the aristocratic Feodor, Katia's cousin.

After three secret meetings, Katia and Wiley start to fall in love, but such a union could never be in a world where rich girls are seen as commodities to be used for advancement through marriage. To give himself any kind of chance with Katia, Wiley joins the dragoons with Pavel, Katia's brother, and then begins the years of physical, emotional, and intentional separation.

©2020 Shirley Forrest Nomakeo (P)2020 Shirley Forrest Nomakeo

What listeners say about The Summer Palace

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a forbidden romance, an escape from the terem...

This book transported me into a 1676 Russian Terem, into the life of Katia Alexyevna Ulenka, the love child of Baron Alexei Sergeyevich Ulenka.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗺 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝘀𝗮𝗻𝗰𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘂𝗻𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝘃𝗶𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗲.
Katia had one dear wish...
𝗞𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗮 𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗶𝘁 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗮 𝗵𝗼𝗿𝘀𝗲, 𝗹𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝘆𝘀, 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝗳𝗶𝗲𝗹𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝘂𝘁𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗶𝗻.
So dressed in a maid's clothes stolen, she snuck out of the terem to the stable... and meets Wiley Breuder... who takes her riding with him on the spirited Ebony.
Their forbidden love begins there, and changes the course of their lives forever. It is a story of stubbornness, and perseverance... of seeking to achieve the impossible.
I've read The Tea Room, so was familiar with the political circumstances surrounding this story. I loved listening to this book, and dived right into the next book immediately...

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very good

Loved it !! this story. the narrator is so fantastic it's like your really there!! good overall

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good

Many tense moments and much inequality for females. Typical portrayal of the time. Difficult at times. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this and am giving an honest review. The narrator did a good job.

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A Tale of Forbidden Love and Defiance

Having just finished 'The Summer Palace,' I find myself deeply immersed in the vivid world of 17th-century Russia. This novel, the first in a series by S. Forrest Nomakeo, offers more than just a historical romance; it's a window into a time of cultural and societal shifts.

Katia's story, as the daughter of Baron Alexei Sergeyevich Ulenka, is both captivating and heart-wrenching. Confined to the terem, where young women's virtues are closely guarded, she yearns for the freedom that her society vehemently denies her. Her clandestine meetings with Wiley, the German stable boy, are not just about forbidden love; they symbolize a fight against the stifling norms of her time.

The narration, while different from the immersive experiences I'm accustomed to, grew on me. It felt like being read a story in the traditional sense, lending a unique charm to the experience. The characters are well-crafted, with distinct voices that the narrator skillfully brings to life. Their struggles and desires are palpable, making you root for them even when the odds are against them.

This audiobook is more than just a tale of romance; it's a journey through the complexities of social hierarchy, gender roles, and personal rebellion. The backdrop of Russia in the 1600s, with its rich descriptions and cultural nuances, adds depth to Katia and Wiley's story. It's fascinating how the narrative ties in the historical tensions of the time, giving context to their personal struggles.

For anyone interested in historical fiction, especially with a focus on Russia's past, this audiobook is a must-listen. It's not just a story; it's an experience that transports you to another time and place, making you feel the emotions, conflicts, and aspirations of its characters. The Summer Palace series promises to be an intriguing journey, and I'm eagerly looking forward to the rest of it.

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An Enjoyable Listen

Times are changing in historical tale about Russia. Women's roles are slowly changing with the reign of the new Czar. The feisty heroine can wait and sneaks out of the Terem for a chance to meet her true love, one of her father's many horses. Little did she know that her first act of rebellion would touch so many people's lives. A great listen for driving. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request, and have voluntarily left this review.

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Thoroughly enjoyable experience

I enjoyed this descriptive love story! The narration is not an immersive experience like I am used to, but rather as one reading being read a story. And that took a moment to get used to, but it was a good experience! The characters were well written and the narrator did well keeping each one separate and identifiable. I loved the story and I’m looking forward hearing rest the of Wiley and Katia’s story!

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Outstanding 17th Century Russian Historical Romance

Wiley and Katia’s story (enhanced by it’s narration) provides an excellent picture of 17th Century Russian life and society. This is book one of The Summer Palace series and I will provide reviews of the three other audio books in the series

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