Book Review: The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen Rappaport

Posted August 15, 2014 by love2dazzle in Non-Fiction, Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra by Helen RappaportThe Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport
Published by St. Martin's Press on 2014-06-03
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Europe, History, Russia & the Former Soviet Union, Women
Pages: 512
Format: Hardcover
Source: St. Martin's Press
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"Helen Rappaport paints a compelling portrait of the doomed grand duchesses." —People magazine

"The public spoke of the sisters in a gentile, superficial manner, but Rappaport captures sections of letters and diary entries to showcase the sisters’ thoughtfulness and intelligence." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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. Helen Rappaport aims to present a new and challenging take on the story, drawing extensively on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, as well as private collections.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.

Rapparport is an amazing writer and did a great deal of research on these girls. She really brings to life the stories of these young women. These young women lost their lives way too soon. This book covers not just the girls but the entirety of their background. This book is highly detailed and put together quite nicely to give an accurate depiction of what these girls really went through in their lives.

Rapparport writes this story in a way that you can feel all the emotion that the people went through during this time. When Alexandra Feodorovna has her baby girls you could feel the disappointment of the people around that these healthy baby girls weren’t baby boys. This book really digs into the past of this family and shares many details with the readers. As a reader, I felt like I could really look at this family as being real people and not just history figures that I read about in my school history book.

I think this book is very well written and I loved all the pictures that were included in the book. I feel like the readers is able to get into more of the girl’s lives. There were many details that haven’t been in other books and I was able to tell that their was a lot of research put into this book. I definitely think if you like biographies or anything related to the Romanov family then this would be a great read.


About love2dazzle

Ali Kiki is a reader, writer, reviewer, blogger, and photographer in Portland, OR. An avid reader since childhood, you can usually find her devouring a book or stalking the bookstagram hashtag in her lovely apartment surrounded by books. Ali has been blogging since 2006 and she created Dazzled by Books in 2012. Her most recent adventure is making bookish candles for Stub Tail Candle Co., which are sold on Etsy.

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