Into the past

Evie, a rebellious young American leaves New York in search of art and adventure in jazz-age Paris, where her bohemian grandmother lives. But on arrival, her grandmother's sudden death leaves Evie carrying out her dying wish: to find a man from her past called Zhenya. The quest leads Evie into the heart of the Russian émigré community of Paris. With the world on the brink of war, she becomes embroiled in murder plots, conspiracies and illicit love affairs as White faces Red Russian and nothing is as it seems. With Jean, a liberal Russian writer by her side, Evie finally seems to have found the passion and excitement she's yearned for. But is she any nearer to discovering the identity of the mysterious Zhenya, or the heartbreak of her grandmother's past?


Click on the links to find out more about

  • “Vanora Bennett’s last novel was set in the Russian Revolution. Here she tells a story of those banished from the motherland with unobtrusive skill and sympathy” – The Sunday Times, June 29 2014
  • “Blissful summer reading” – The Times, May 30 2014 
  • “With its superb characterisation, enigmatic storyline and gripping dénouement, The White Russian is a dark and fascinating slice of little-known history” – Lancashire Evening Post
  • “Deeply romantic” – Good Housekeeping
  • “Page-turning adventure from an author who conjurers up alternative eras and locations with consummate ease” – the bookbag 
  • “It is such a beautiful novel I just got completely lost in it” – 5-star review in 


  • “A sweeping novel of illicit passion and family secrets” – Viv Groskop in Red Magazine, listing “best beach reads” in June 2014
  • “[In] this beautifully-written novel of love and intrigue. … the mystery of Evie’s grandmother’s past and the identity of a man named Zhenya provide a strong plot element but it is the atmosphere and the people which really enchant the reader and make the book impossible to put down” – Sally Hughes in We Love This Book
  • “A wonderful story of heartbreak and passion. … I truly couldn’t put the book down – a must read! It was a delight and I was sorry to reach the end.” mojomums 
  • “I was swept away by this gripping novel of forbidden passion and intrigue” – Woman & Home.
  • “This well-researched piece is a thrilling page-turner” –The Lady, June 27 2014 
  • “Vanora Bennett captures the mood of the thirties to perfection, and her characters simply leap off the page…” – Books Monthly
  • “This is a great, intriguing book that really grabs you” – Frost magazine on The White Russian, which is listed in its summer books special
  • “A genuinely intriguing and intricate plot with lots of false leads, twists, turns and surprises”– 5-star review in culturefly 

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