The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming
I visited Russia last summer and got to see firsthand the opulence in which Nicholas and Alexandra lived their lives. Of course, they were so isolated from the people they were governing that the widespread starvation and deprivation went unnoticed by them. Sound ripe for rebellion? Candace Fleming has outdone herself with this book – and that’s saying something!
The cover photo is such a lovely portrait of the Tsar and his family. Not too long after this photo was taken the whole family came to a horrific end. Stories and lore have sprung up around this family since their deaths in 1918 due, in part, to the secrecy around their deaths. The family had been exiled to a remote village the year before and it was there, after some time, they were executed. In Fleming’s book we learn how they were killed, where they were buried, how they were found, and where they were finally buried. All but two of them, that is. It seemed two of the girls were missing. Did they escape? Did Anastasia get away and live her life in another country?
This book is an extraordinary story and it is done justice here. Not all non-fiction is written truly as a story but Fleming is the master of that. All of her books read beautifully. This one is especially marvelous because all th elements of a good read are there: murder, intrigue, power, and well-drawn characters. And all of it is true. Teachers who cover Russian history, this is the book for you.
Oh, and how about Rasputin? Holy man or scoundrel? You’ll be able to tell one from the other once you have read this book. It’s the best non-fiction I have read so far this year.