First sentence: "The first time that Christa Malone heard the name of Innokenti Isayevich Falin, it was spoken by the president of the United State's John F. Kennedy."
John Crowley's The Translator is another dusty historical fiction book that's been waiting for the right moment. A young college girl becomes enamored with her professor, an exiled Russian, during the 60's. His Russian poetry is politically symbolic, but when translated into English, doesn't have exactly the same meaning. Combine the Cuban missile crisis, political intrigue, students needing to fit in and campus protests with the quest to understand literature and poetry and it makes for an interesting read.
Birthstone Bookology - G A R N E T