Gone by Nightfall
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: January 21st 2020
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
A young woman is torn between her home and her dreams during the Russian Revolution.
It’s 1916, and Charlotte Mason is determined to make a life for herself in czarist Russia. When her mother dies, Charlotte is forced to put her plans to go to medical school aside to care for her unruly siblings. Then a handsome new tutor arrives. Charlotte has high hopes that he’ll stay, freeing her up to follow her dreams of becoming a doctor. But there’s more to Dmitri that meets the eye.
Just when she thinks she can get her life back, Russia descends into revolution and chaos. Now, not only does Charlotte need to leave Russia, she needs to get her siblings out too–and fast.
Can Charlotte flee Russia, keep her siblings safe, and uncover Dmitri’s many secrets before she runs out of time?
Dee Garretson spent her childhood helping her father build his offbeat inventions and playing adventure games in the woods. After working as a landscape designer and teaching landscape horticulture classes for several years, Dee returned to writing. Her debut novel, Wildfire Run, has been praised for its suspense and its hero, Luke, who “with his companions, displays generous measures of courage and ingenuity in rising to the occasion” (ALA Booklist). She lives with her family in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“You and your brothers are bringing down the reputation of the Cherkassky family by associating with the wrong sort of people,” the baron said.
“Which people?” I suspected I already knew the answer.
“The Tamm family and their disreputable theater.” He paused as if he expected me to protest. When I said nothing, he continued. “I suppose it all seems rather daring, especially for a young girl, to attend their parties and meet the radicals who associate with them, but you need to stay away. All the talk of revolution will come to nothing, and in the meantime, your connection with them is drawing too much attention.”
“I’ve met no radicals at the Tamm’s.” Not exactly, anyway. I didn’t add I had heard the same talk that was everywhere, the endless gossip about the precarious state of the monarchy. We all wanted change, so, yes, we talked of it but if I said anything, it would make him more suspicious. “Why are you worried about our reputation?” I had no intention of giving up visiting the Tamms but I was curious as to why the baron was involving himself in our lives.
The man sneered. “I care nothing for your reputation, little girl. Your stepfather’s gambling debts are a problem, but he is a loyal supporter of the czar. However, when you associate with radicals, you become of interest to the Okhrana, and therefore your stepfather draws their interest too. Given the past history of the family, that could be very dangerous.”
Hearing mention of the Okhrana twice in one night made my palms start to sweat in my gloves. I didn’t understand what he meant about the past history. My stepfather had served in the army with great distinction as one of their top generals and my mother had been completely uninterested in politics.
I heard someone come into the room. The baron leaned in even more and put his arm over the back of my chair. I forced myself not to cringe away from him. I knew he was trying to intimidate me.
When he spoke again, his voice was so low I knew he didn’t want anyone else to hear. “I realize girls are not interested in politics, but the situation is very precarious right now,” he said. “We must do everything we can to insure stability if we are to win the war. Even though your stepfather is retired, he is still a notable figure, and unfortunately, he has enemies who have not forgotten. He must be seen to be unwavering in his support of the czar. If you care for him at all, you won’t want to be a burden on him.”
His eyes were so fixed on me, I felt my mouth go dry. Did he want me to reassure him that there were no treasonous thoughts allowed in our house? What if the baron was part of the secret police himself? I wouldn’t put it past him to have some devious plan in mind to trap me. He could report any response I made.
“Thank you for your concern,” I managed to choke out.
A group of men came in talking in loud voices. I shifted away from the baron to get a look. It was the orchestra. They ignored us as they surrounded the food tables.
The baron reached into a pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. He set it on the table. “Look at the quote from the American and then show this to the Tamms. See what they say. Then burn it until there is nothing left but ash.”
I picked up the paper and unfolded it. As soon as I understood what it was, I dropped it on the table, wanting to wipe my gloves on my dress as if the words had leapt off the paper and were stuck to me, screaming for everyone to read. Being in possession of a paper calling for the overthrow the czar could get me arrested.