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

Published: 2014-06-03
Hardcover : 512 pages
4 members reading this now
7 clubs reading this now
2 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 4 of 6 members

A New York Times Bestseller for 12 weeks!

"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 ...

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Introduction

A New York Times Bestseller for 12 weeks!

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 Helen Rappaport aims to present a new and challenging take on the story, drawing extensively on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, as well as private collections.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

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by Bueland333 (see profile) 11/16/16

 
by kathyfory (see profile) 05/18/16

 
  "The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra"by DebeDockins (see profile) 06/02/15

Our club enjoyed this book -- especially those who are non-fiction readers -- and the others were interested in reading the sisters' tragic story.

 
  "A Very Interesting View of the Romanov's Reign"by thewanderingjew (see profile) 02/23/15

The reader speaks well, paying careful attention to pronunciation, but often, with so many Russian names rolling off her tongue, I was unable to picture or fathom any of them, let alone try ... (read more)

 
  "For history buffs only"by diannem (see profile) 09/19/14

This is a dry book about the history of the Romanovs. Only if your group is really into history is this the book for you. The research is obvious painstakingly accurate, but we were all hoping to gain... (read more)

 
  "Repetitive & slooooooooooow"by LisaC27 (see profile) 09/19/14

While the author should be commended for the vast amount of research she did to put this book together, it reads more like a textbook than a book solely read for entertainment. The first 2/3 of the book... (read more)

 
  "THE ROMANOV SISTERS by Helen Rappaport"by mistyviolet (see profile) 02/27/14

History and Russian buffs will love this history of the last Tsar and his family. Although the title seems to indicate the book will revolve around the four Romanov daughters more than half ... (read more)

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