“The Family Romanov” is a biography of the last ruling family of Russia written for teen audiences. Although it has been long since I was a teen I found this book to be interesting and informative. Its subjects are presented as individuals and as a closely-knit household swept away by the turmoil that they never really understood. Readers are introduced to Tsar Nicholas II, who was a much better father to his children than he was to his nation, Empress Alexandra whose protective embrace enveloped her circle and each of the four Grand Duchesses and Tsarevich Alexei as unique personalities.
Even though I have read a some about Nicholas and Alexandra and this was written for a juvenile audience I learned much from this work. The heartbreaking succession of four daughters in a dynasty desperately longing for a male heir is felt across the years. An intense religious fervor shaped the royal lives it could not save. The severity of Alexei’s illness is more understandable from this book than it ever was before. The contrast between life in Tsarskoye Selo and as prisoners of the Revolution draws sympathy for this most privileged of families.
The writing style, though targeted toward young audiences, is rife with picture words that sketch scenes of Imperial life in the imaginative mind. I recommend it for inquisitive young adults and for older adults seeking an easy and educational read.
Downloaded a sample and didn't get further than the imprint page when it declared that it was a children's book - as an adult, I am glad that I didn't buy the whole thing as nowhere on the Amazon write up does it mention that this is the case.
If you are an adult and want a book about the tragedy of the Romanovs, read Helen Rappaport's new book.
If you are a child, well I am sure this book is perfectly fine