Olga and Tatiana,
Maria and Anastasia.
Royal blood unites them,
Royal blood dooms them.
The sisters Romanov truly believed that the Russian people loved them and their ailing young brother, the Crown Prince. But World War I revealed the truth, and their lives went from merriment and joy to grim gratitude for being allowed to stay together under house arrest in Siberia during the Revolution.
My recommendation: Sailing on the imperial yacht that 1914 summer day, none of the sisters could imagine that their world would soon erupt in war, that the whole world would go to war, that the people’s love for their papa would turn to hate and “Down with the Tsar!” would sound throughout Russia.
When war is declared, the four grand duchesses – eldest Olga, prim Tatiana, peacemaker Maria, and Anastasia, who wishes she could fight alongside her father – and little Alexei, the Tsarevich, the royal heir, whose hemophilia makes every bruise life-threatening, must stay behind when Nicholas II goes to command the Russian troops.
As their mother, the Tsarina frets over every fever; as Mother of all Russian Children, she agonizes over the waves of wounded soldiers returning from the front. Her increasing reliance on mystic Rasputin and her German heritage condemn her in the eyes of the rebels who overthrow the government in the midst of World War.
The royal guard deserts them, Papa must abdicate the crown, and suddenly the longest family reign in history is broken as the Romanovs are taken from their palace, shifted through different cities secretively, and erased from Russian memory.
Why did the military turn on their Tsar and join the rebel forces?
How long can Alexei endure the rough travel without his doctor?
Will the royal family live through the glory days of the Russian Revolution?
Each chapter tells the fateful story from the viewpoint of a different sister, whose personality shines through, enlivening this pivotal tale of history with everyday customs and Russian endearments whispered by their parents. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.