Thursday, December 04, 2014

2014 book 294

Helen Rappaport's The Romanov Sisters
Now THIS is the book I wish we had read for Thanksgiving Sister Book Club--it has that nice narrative style going on, as opposed to the drier/more textbook-like tone of the Candace Fleming book.* It seems to be just as meticulously researched (there's hundreds of footnotes), though it absolutely downplays Nicholas' anti-Semitism. So if you're looking for a nice, rosy look at the Romanovs, this is your book. I liked it for how deep it got into the four girls (particularly Olga), obviously major objects of fascination in the western world. Parts of it are dull, and it doesn't delve into politics at all, but it nails all the gossip for sure. I also find it fascinating that Rappaport--like many other writers--calls the girls "the children" up to the end, even though the older two were in their twenties. The end is a bit of a letdown, but I'd say this is a solid work of popular history. B+.

*To be fair, the Fleming book is a MUCH better work of history. Maybe I shouldn't want it to be chatty.

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