Pub Date: June 3, 2014 | St. Martin's Press | eBook, Hardcover
Acquired by: Publisher| Edelweiss
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
They were the Princess Dianas of their day—perhaps the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. The four captivating Russian Grand Duchesses—Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov—were much admired for their happy dispositions, their looks, the clothes they wore and their privileged lifestyle.
Over the years, the story of the four Romanov sisters and their tragic end in a basement at Ekaterinburg in 1918 has clouded our view of them, leading to a mass of sentimental and idealized hagiography. With this treasure trove of diaries and letters from the grand duchesses to their friends and family, we learn that they were intelligent, sensitive and perceptive witnesses to the dark turmoil within their immediate family and the ominous approach of the Russian Revolution, the nightmare that would sweep their world away, and them along with it.
The Romanov Sisters sets out to capture the joy as well as the insecurities and poignancy of those young lives against the backdrop of the dying days of late Imperial Russia, World War I and the Russian Revolution. Rappaport aims to present a new and challenging take on the story, drawing extensively on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, as well as private collections. It is a book that will surprise people, even aficionados.
My ReviewWow, what an incredibly fascinating and heart-wrenching read! I've long been intrigued by the story of the Romanov family and in particular, the four sisters, Olga, Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia - collectively known as OTMA - so I immediately requested to review Rappaport's book as soon as it popped up on Edelweiss and I am so glad that I did!
Rappaport delivers a highly enjoyable and insightful read that was never dry or boring. The Romanov girls personalities shine through and the reader comes away with a sense of having known them intimately, which makes their ending all that more tragic with the final scene (be sure to have hankies at the ready!) Rappaport of course also touches on the politics of the time, their dominating mother Alexandra, and their brother Alexei's hemophilia.
I would recommend The Romanov Sisters to anyone wanting to learn more about the ill-fated Romanovs. It's one that will stay with you a long time after closing the book.
GiveawayI have one copy of The Romanov Sisters up for grabs thanks to St. Martin's Press. Giveaway is open to US residents only and ends on August 3.
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