Author: Sarah Miller
Publish Date: June 14, 2011
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You are a historical fiction fan.
- You're looking to dip your toes in the world of young adult fiction when you usually read adult fiction.
From Goodreads.com: "Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia. Like the fingers on a hand--first headstrong Olga; then Tatiana, the tallest; Maria the most hopeful for a ring; and Anastasia, the smallest. These are the daughters of Tsar Nicholas II, grand duchesses living a life steeped in tradition and privilege. They are each on the brink of starting their own lives, at the mercy of royal matchmakers. The summer of 1914 is that precious last wink of time when they can still be sisters together--sisters that link arms and laugh, sisters that share their dreams and worries, and flirt with the officers of their imperial yacht.
But in a gunshot the future changes for these sisters and for Russia.
As World War I ignites across Europe, political unrest sweeps Russia. First dissent, then disorder, mutiny, and revolution. For Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, the end of their girlhood together is colliding with the end of more than they ever imagined.
At the same time hopeful and hopeless, naive and wise, the voices of these sisters become a chorus singing the final song of Imperial Russia. Impeccably researched and utterly fascinating, this novel by acclaimed author Sarah Miller recounts the final days of Imperial Russia with lyricism, criticism and true compassion."
My Two Cents:
And here I am, continuing on my Russian fiction journey and I am loving it. I love how many books have or are coming out about Russia. This is a historical fiction book told from the point of view of the four daughters of the last Tsar of Russia: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia. It's been awhile since I've read any books or watched anything about the Romanovs and I had forgotten how long they had to wait to find out their destiny. For some reason, I had it in my head that they were taken away from the palace and met their end not long after. In reality, the family was moved from the capital to Ekaterinburg, a coal town in the middle of Russia, where they were basically guarded until the end. I can't imagine just having to wait like that. At least in Miller's book, some of the sisters are still keeping diaries and one of them comments how boring her diary has become as they're not allowed to do anything.
This was definitely one of those historical fiction books that is now going to plant the seed in my head that I need to start reading more about the Romanovs and the Russian Revolution.
I know that the Russians were upset with Tsar Nicholas and his family because they felt like they were really struggling when the family was not at all. However, the two older sisters helped out as nurses to help the wounded military personnel. And the two younger sisters hoped to help out as nurses someday. I thought it was kind of cool that they had gotten training in something like that.
Miller does a great job of pulling you into the story. I think that it was especially effective to tell the story from the point of view of the different sisters as they have really different points of view and things that they are thinking about or worried about. Miller does a good job of keeping all of the voices distinct and separate, which can be really difficult to do sometimes.
Bottom line: This is a great young adult historical fiction that really transcends just being a young adult book.