Most helpful critical review
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
like I would a novel
on 26 August 2014
3.5 stars. I intended to dip in and out of this meaty biography but ended up reading it straight, like I would a novel. A bit dense and repetitive at times, especially as I didn't have anything more than a working knowledge of the Romanovs or the Revolution.
Although purported to be a biography of the four girls, I came away knowing a lot more about their mother Alexandra than either of the Grand Duchesses. Helen Rappaport spends the first fifth or so of the book on Alix's childhood, whereas Tsar Nicholas does not get the same treatment.
The level of detail from the girls' letters and diary entries saved the book from becoming too formulaic and dry. The level of research and use of primary and secondary sources is extensive, comprehensive and really impressive. I now want to get my hands on Ekaterinburg: The Last Days of the Romanovs by the same author.