I have tried and failed to Anna Karenina at least four times. So I didn’t think that I was going to be able to make it through this book about the last ruling family of Russia. Much to my surprise, I didn’t just trudge through this book. I actually enjoyed it.
In The Romanov Sisters Helen Rappaport tells the story of the four daughters of Tsar Nicholas II, the last tsar of Russia. Largely forgotten by history, Olga, Tatianna, Maria, and Anastasia get their chance to shine in this informative biography. Rappaport utilizes the extensive and detailed dairies of the girls and their parents to piece together the lives that the Imperial sisters lead as they grew up in a tumultuous timeperiod. She covers the events leading up to their birth, their life before World War I, during the war, and during their captivity. With meticulous accuracy the author is careful to leave no part of their lives unrecorded.
The book actually focuses more on the older sisters, Olga and Tatianna, rather than the better known Anastasia, about whom so many movies have been made. In addition to recording the lives of the girls, Rappaport also follows the lives of their parents. We learn how Nicholas and Alexandra chose to raise their children and how the pressures of ruling Russia influenced those decisions.