This is a very well-written NON-FICTION account of the personal lives of the last ruling Romanovs — not just the four sisters (Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia), but their brother and parents as well. And what a tightly knit family they were! What I enjoyed most about reading this account of their family life, was not having to plod through a lot of dry political detail that often accompanies biographies of the Tsar’s family. Awarded three stars on Goodreads.
I admit that I skimmed some parts. Not ALL of it was interesting to me. You DO get a sense of the distinct personalities of the four sisters, who so often seem lumped together as one entity.
I particularly appreciated the timetable showing what was happening to different members of the family at the same time. For example, when Tsar Nicolas II was abdicating, several of his daughters were ill with serious complications from measles, including encephalitis and pneumonia.
There are many anecdotes that speak to the ill health of all the family members, particularly Empress Alexandra, whose ailments kept her secluded from the rest of the family for long periods of time, over many years. And of course, there is much description of the agony hemophilia caused Alexei. The book also includes a very complete description of the family’s final journey and imprisonment just before their execution. It’s a very sad story.
More about the prolific author, Helen Rappaport.