Overview (No Spoilers):
In hindsight, I should go back and revise my ranking of Catherine the Great to a much higher score. The two historical nonfiction books, In the Garden of Beasts and The Romanov Sisters, I’ve since read have left out much of the charged political details surrounding the Dodd and Romanov families. Catherine the Great did an excellent job relaying the political atmosphere and the important players abroad during her reign. However, in The Romanov Sisters, as I probably should have garnered from the title, was only focused on their family life. Much of the political unrest leading up to the revolution was left undeveloped or explained, probably comparable to how the poor sheltered girls experienced this upheaval. This veil of the unknown was heightened as the family moved from Siberia to the Urals, with Rappaport keeping the reader being as in the dark on the Civil War tearing apart Russia as the doomed Royal Family. Overall, The Romanov Sisters gave a tragic glimpse into a Royal Family who more than anything wanted/tried to be a normal family, and ultimately were destroyed by being unable to adapt to the changing times.
Additional Insight and Comments (Potential Spoilers):
- Would have the family survived and maintained the throne for his family if Nicholas would have adjusted to the times and consented to a constitutional monarchy?
- I’m baffled by Nicholas’ consent in his wife’s insistence on sheltering the poor girls. He was raised in Russian society and should have realized the future situation he was going to be putting his daughters in as they try to make their way into society.
- Would have the family survived if Nicholas would have consented to the sick family fleeing before his return to the Palace?
- Would have the family survived if they would have made an escape attempt during their time in Siberia when security was lax.
- What an unfortunate tale, especially in knowing the final fate of this kind, family oriented, religious family.