Everything you need to understand or teach The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean.
This multi-layered, poetically written narrative is a portrait of Marina, an elderly woman with a troubled past, a difficult present (due to Alzheimer's disease) and an uncertain future. As stories of her past and present intertwine, and as Marina finds it more and more difficult to distinguish between the two, the narrative explores thematic questions related to the nature and value of both memory and art, and the importance of loyalty and devotion.
Three different narrative threads entwine and interrelate as the story of the novel unfolds. The work begins with the first, a tour through the Hermitage Museum in Leningrad. This thread is written in the first person style of the tour's guide, with narration describing the rooms through which the reader (or tourist, as it were) is passing and the paintings contained in each room. The guide's identity is never defined, but it is in all likelihood... View more of the The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel Summary