When my own children are looking for non-fiction books to read, I always tend to pick books that have intrigued me in the past.
I must have been ten or eleven years old when I caught a program on television about a woman claiming to be Anastasia, the czar's fourth daughter who had been killed in Russia in 1918. I was hooked. No body had ever been found for Anastasia or her brother, although remains were located for the other members of her family. Numerous people stepped forward over the years claiming to be Anastasia, although it is most certain that she was executed along with her family.
In Anastasia's Album there are photographs of this young girl and her sisters and brother. Her very privileged life is shared with the world.
Now, Candace Fleming has provided another look at the Romanov family going into detail not just about Anastasia, but providing a backdrop of what life was like in Russia during Czar Nicholas' rule.
If I had read anything about Nicholas before, I certainly didn't remember it, and appreciated Fleming's portrait of a leader who seemed extremely out of touch with the peasant's way of life in Russia. His vast wealth amazed me, yet also shows how little he understood the way most people were forced to live.
Fleming introduces other historical figures like Lenin and Rasputin who are important to the Romanovs - and to Russia- and provides accurate and detailed information about the imperial family.
I was hoping for a book that was about more than just Anastasia, and was happily surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. History is not always dry and boring, and Fleming provides a fresh look at this portion of history.