Ever since I was a little girl, I have been utterly fascinated by the Romanov family. I blame it all on the movie, Anastasia. My poor parents tired of hearing me sing “Dancing Bears and Painted Wings (the 1997 version of Let it Go)” took me to our local public library so that I could learn more about the Romanovs. I soon read Anastasia’s Album: The Last Tsar’s Youngest Daughter Tells Her Own Story and any other literature that told me about the Romanovs. Almost ten years later my interest in the Romanovs has been recaptured by Candace Fleming’s The Romanov Family: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of the Imperial Russia.
It has been almost 100 years since the Romanov family was executed by the Bolsheviks. However, Fleming has done something truly magical; she has brought the Romanovs back to life through words. Superbly researched, The Romanov Family presents readers with an enlightening informational read that is not laden with tedious prose and overwhelming facts. The book furthers enriches it readers experiences by making them feel a range of emotions. I easily felt contempt, happiness, and sorrow throughout the entire book.
Fleming also allowed the personalities of the Romanov family to flourish through her writings. She made me label Tsarina Alexandra a helicopter mom, and Alexi a spoiled brat who probably needed a good spanking (if it would not have killed him). I also saw Tsar Nicholas II as man who only desired to be a family man instead of a ruler of an entire nation. I also felt utter contempt for how Alexandra and Nicholas ignored the needs of their people, and then a profound sorrow when Nicholas finally received his wish of a simple life for his family only for it to be ended by the Bolsheviks.
I do not give many nonfiction books five stars, but Candace Fleming’s The Romanov Family most definitely deserves five stars. I foresee it winning or receiving honorary awards.
For those wanting a bit more detail about the Romanovs pick-up Helen Rappaport’s The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra. Do not be fooled by the title as the book includes an immense amount of information about the entire Romanov Family. It just leans more heavily towards the Romanov girls’ stories. There are times that the book does seem to get bogged down by detail, but Rappaport paints the Romanov family as an odd family who had strange ways.