I have always been interested in reading about the Russian royal family and their lives; this book is worth reading for some insights, but overall is disappointing and frustrating in it's lack of real content and depth. This might be due to the book being based on the memoirs and letters of the Grand Duchess. Reading between the lines the Grand Duchess must have led the most extraordinary life, experiencing both the highs and lows of living as royalty and all that brings with it, through to poverty and fleeing for her life on more than one occasion. Most of her family in Russia were killed and the whole book covers some of the most extraordinary events in history at that time, but often the book only alludes to what was going on or what happened to the family as a whole or the Grand Duchess, which is a shame as she was obviously the most incrediable woman. However, I would probably buy the book even if I had known what I know now that I have read it, but I will certainly read more about this amazing and capable lady. At the end the Grand Duchess refers to the rest of her life as being private and of no interest to others, whilst I can understand that is her wish, I think that the authors missed the opportunity of creating a more indepth memoir, by not realising perhaps how inspiring the Grand Duchess's whole life will appear to the readers.
I would have found it useful to have had a family tree and list of chronological events as I was reading this.