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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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ENJOYED

A very enjoyable listen. We are shown the lifestyle and life of a headstrong young woman in 17th century Russian. How Katia a daughter of a Baron wants to experience the freedom of horse riding. How are one act of rebellion sets things in motion.

oh yes there is Romance.

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A Summery Romance


I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I studied Russian history in university forty years ago, so I was looking forward to refreshing my memory on the subject. The novel did not disappoint me on that score, although it is not an historically accurate novel, and never set out to be one.

I remembered the Boyars and the strong German influence in Russia in the 17th Century. However, that is an aside, although a very welcome one.

The real story is a romance in the vein of Barbara Cartland and Mills and Boon. I have never read any of their books, but I am pretty sure in saying that The Summer Palace is similar in style to them but superior in content. However, it is as far removed from my favourite genres as you can get.

Romance addicts will love it.

I found the narration to be a little annoying at times, but it is unfortunate for the narrator that I speak both German and Russian, and have worked or studied there too. I feel that the narrator struggled with the accents. They came out as caricatures. That probably won't bother many Americans, most of whom wouldn't know the difference.

Having said that, the narrator has a beautiful tone to his voice, and a wide range of voices.

I was the wrong person to give this book to, but don't let that put you off. If romance is your bag, you'll love The Summer Palace.

Owen Jones

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  • Mindy H
  • 22-08-21

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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  • KDS/BJD
  • 16-06-22

Enjoyable Russian Romantic Historical Fiction

I enjoyed this romantic historic novel set in the late 1600's in Russia. Interesting were the cultural customs of secluding the young women. This was the first work by Nomakeo, but I am sure to do the entire series and the rest of her oeuvre. This is #1 of a 4 part series. If you love historic romantic novels set in Regency England, I think you would enjoy this novel and along the way learn about a different culture. While not the primary purpose of this book, this is a fun read that helps provide perspective to the centuries of Russian Muslim conflict that gives us the current war in Ukraine.

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  • Jeromeo
  • 18-03-22

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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  • B.McGrath
  • 12-03-22

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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  • Anjali Panikar
  • 12-08-21

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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  • Ila Santos
  • 02-02-21

This is the best audio-book I've ever seen

An amusing, well-decorated audio-book that also teaches about the role of upper-class women in Russia in the 17th century. There are well-developed characters. I could not put it down until I got into this audio-book! I am excited to hear more about Katia, Wiley, and Pavel's lives. Fantastic audio-book! It came to life with characters and history. We look forward to updates!

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  • lynda
  • 10-11-20

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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  • Roger Fauble
  • 04-11-20

4 1/2 stars

The Summer Palace (The Summer Palace Series Book 1) my second read from author S. Forrest Nomakeo, who again weaves a captivating tale of Romanaff Russia. I don't restrict myself to a particular genre. I'm a sucker for anything with memorable characters and a story that keeps me guessing. The perfect novel? A book that keeps me turning the page long after I should have called it a night. This was a well-written book. I was given an Audible copy of this book and am voluntarily reviewing it. David Akiva Klionsky's narration added to the enjoyment of the book. I'll definitely read more from this author. (RIP Marley January 20, 2014 - July 24, 2018).