The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

The Romanov Sisters by Helen RappaportThe Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport
Published by St. Martin's Press on 6/3/2014
Source: Publisher
Pages: 512
Buy from IndieBound

Throughout the early twentieth century, the four daughters of Russia’s Tsar Nicholas II held not only royal status, but also that of modern-day celebrities. Though the details of their daily lives were hidden from the public eye, people throughout the world clamored for information about the girls’ clothing, schooling and prospects for marriage.  When their young lives were cut short in 1918, portions of their history were lost as well. In The Romanov Sisters, Helen Rappaport blends diaries and letters with years of research to form a complete portrait of the four Russian Grand Duchesses.

Though countless books have picked apart the lives and deaths of the Romanov family, few have focused so intently on the girls. Starting with the courtship of Nicholas and Alexandra and weaving through to the family’s final moments, The Romanov Sisters turns a close lens on the once hidden daily lives of Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. In some sections, as Rappaport closely documents the girls’ day-to-day activities, the weight of the book’s 512 pages can feel daunting. However, it does provide readers with a clear sense of the repetitive, secluded life  the Romanov sisters were living.

“Later, when Mariya Geringer – the tsaristsa’s senior lady-in-waiting, charged with caretaking the palace after their departure – arrived, the hungry creatures emerged like wraiths from the shadows and hurled themselves at her, wailing for attention. But all forty doors of the rooms inside had been sealed; the palace kitchens were closed; everything was locked. Only the cats remained in a deserted Alexander Park, the last remnants of a family now heading hundreds of miles east into Siberia.”

The Romanov Sisters is a dense, wonderfully researched book capable of thrilling long time Romanov fans while introducing new readers to their secrets.

  • Oh my goodness, this sounds fantastic. There’s just something about the Romanov’s, isn’t there?

  • Books on the Table

    I am fascinated by Russian history — this sounds great. I’ve been on a fiction binge for a while — time for some nonfiction!

  • This sounds amazing. I’m always up for an engrossing non-fiction read, so this one goes on the wishlist.

  • Silver’s Reviews

    What a beautiful cover and an awesome-sounding book.

    THANKS for sharing. Great post.

    Thought you and all bloggers may be interested in the Book Blogger Hop meme. It is EVERY Friday, and discusses bookish and blog topics.

  • Sam_TinyLibrary

    I’ve been looking forward to your review of this one. I love the sound of the book but think all of that detail might get to me…

  • That remains a fascinating topic a hundred years later. I always assumed that was due to the tragic end, but it sounds like the public was fascinated before then — which would only add to the sense of tragedy.

    • Definitely. There was so much mystery around them when they were alive, which really did make their deaths even more tragic.

  • I love books about the Romanovs even though they are so sad, because you know how their story ends. But you’re right – they don’t normally focus on the girls. I’m going to keep an eye out for this one because I’ve always been curious about who these young women were.

  • This sounds fascinating! I might skip the end though — I remember learning about the Romanovs in school and being very upset by the awfulness of their deaths. It took longer for them to die because they had diamonds sewed into their clothes, and that protected them from the initial shots. I learned that detail in seventh grade, and it has always stayed with me.

    • This book actually only talks about the deaths for about a page, since the author wrote a whole other book about it, so you wouldn’t have to skip too much.

  • Words for Worms

    Oooh I’ve always loved the Romanovs, I may need to check this out!

  • I’m glad you ended up enjoying this :) I also thought it was really well researched and I think all the details of the sisters’ personal lives mean this could probably add something new for even a long-time fan. Personally, I thought it got bogged down a bit in all the detail, but I did really like how much the author brought the sisters to life.

  • I’m skimming this post because I’m only 30 pages into this book. So far, I’m enjoying how real and personable these figures seem.

  • This is one I definitely want to read….if I can find the time. I’ve developed quite an interest in the Romanovs in the past couple of years!

  • Rachel Rooney

    Like many, I’ve always been fascinated by the Romanovs, but after reading the comments maybe I’ll pick up Nicholas and Alexandra first.

  • Stacy (The Novel Life)

    I’m currently reading this one and loving it – seeing into the Romanov sisters’ lives is such a unique premise and one that I adore! so glad you enjoyed it too!

  • S.G. Wright

    What a book cover! Ominous or a bit sad. I should read this one, looks too good to pass up. thanks!

  • Pingback: Book Giveaway: The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport()