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The Passion of Marie Romanov by Laura Rose
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The Passion of Marie Romanov

by Laura Rose

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This novel is written as a diary of Grand Duchess Maria Romanova, third daughter of the last tsar, Nicholas II, during the 16 month period between his abdication in March 1917 and the family's brutal massacre in the Urals town of Ekaterinburg in July 1918. The diary has supposedly been retrieved by one of the guards who reluctantly took part in the massacre and is now being interrogated by monarchist forces after they retook Ekaterinburg a few days after the killings. The novel is very well written, with a haunting literary quality. The first third of the book covers the five month period when the family was under house arrest in the Alexander Palace, and nearly all of the rest of it covers the three month final period in Ekaterinburg. The eight month exile in Tobolsk in Siberia in between is covered in only about as many pages as months, which seems rather unbalanced (though this was a relatively uneventful, peaceful and happy time for the family, devoid of dramatic incident). While the novel is clearly meticulously well researched in many ways, and the author has visited many of the relevant sites in Russia, it has to drop a point for containing a large number of spelling mistakes and typos - particularly egregious considering the author's great interest are the misspellings of "Feodorvna" for "Feodorovna", and the misuse of "Romanovna" (a patronymic) when "Romanova" (a surname) is meant. One of Alexei's attendants is also continually misspelled as Deverenko, instead of Derevenko (related to the Russian word for wood). These constant errors were irritating and this otherwise excellent novel was clearly not properly proofread. ( )
  john257hopper | Nov 30, 2016 |
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"July 17, 1918—from the writings of Marie Nicolaevna Romanovna, age 19. Midnight, in bed with her sister, Anastasia (Shvybz), in the Ipatiev Mansion in Ekaterinburg, during the last night of their lives.

So much of my story unfolds by moonlight. This is a tale of midnight wakings and forced marches before dawn. Since this nightmare began, I do not dare undress, even to go to bed. I wear my dressing gown, my hair is prepared, and my shoes are set beside me. I have no idea when we will be summoned to rise. We have moved, as in the worst of dreams, slowly toward this place. There is no logic other than the sleepwalker’s obedience—to follow instruction which we cannot resist: an actual lunacy.

Now, I have control only of this—my record of what happened to us, to me. I have committed a single sin, my one terrible transgression. I pray to be absolved.

In this recording of memory lies all meaning to my life. Let my will prevail in this, my ultimate wish, to salvage something of value from this tragedy. The rest, as my mother says, is in God’s hands.

When I look back, as I must in the short time allotted to me now, I can see the exact moment when our lives changed: at last light, on the thirteenth of March, 1917."

Here, in startling new historical detail, based on original diaries and letters, is the Romanov tragedy told from the point of view of the Tsar's third daughter, Marie, Anastasia's closest, older sister. Marie's story is unique-only Marie crossed the frozen Siberian river with her parents, and only Marie shared the full 78 days and nights in 'The House of Special Purpose.' [retrieved 4/29/2015 from Amazon.com]
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