Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Kitchen Boy


I don't know particularly why, but the story of the fall of the Romanov family in 1918 during the Bolshevik revolution has fascinated me for years. The life and death of the last Russian Tsar, Nikolas II, is one of the most compelling period in history in at least the last thousand years. Hollywood could not come up with a more memorable and terrifying script.

Numerous legends and conspiracies surround the deaths of the Tsar and his family. All that is known is how brutal and horrendous the events occurred at the hands of the Bolsheviks. However, when the bodies were finally uncovered close to seventy-five years later, two of the children's' bodies were missing. So the questions and conspiracy theories arose: did the children survive, were there witnesses besides the executioners themselves?

Questions about the where-abouts of the Romanov children led to the writing of this historical-fiction about the last days of the Romanov family. In Tsaritsa Alexandra's diary, she notes that the day before the family was executed, their trusted kitchen boy was sent away for good for unknown reasons. And it is the account of this kitchen boy's last days with the Romanovs that author Robert Alexander bases his novel on.

Through the eyes of the kitchen boy, Leonka, we learn of the factual bonds between the members of the Romanov family. One can't help but develop a strong sympathy for their plight, no matter how self-inflicted it was. You especially feel for the children, especially because of their faith and innocence.

I cannot divulge to much about the book besides what is already known in reference books. What I can say is that Robert Alexander masterfully brings the reader into the lives of the Romanovs, allowing us to (in a fictional way) get to know a family that was secluded and helps us to develop a relationship with them.

This is a book I recommend for anyone.

7 comments:

Ratchfords said...

Looks awesome - it's going on my library list right now! Hope you guys are getting good and settled in down there!

Ryan Stutz said...

The book that I was trying to name for you when I was in Phoenix, the one told from Death's point of view is called "The Book Thief"

royalkeister said...

I bought "The Book Thief" 2 days ago. It sounded interesting enough, especially from Death's perspective. Amber is gonna read it first, cuz I have a pile of books I need to get through first. Thanks for the recommendation.

Donna said...

I read this a while ago and loved it! It is one of those ones you finish and want to tell everyone about but can't give away too much!

Mom Bell said...

Larry-You know I'm not a big reader but I did see the tv-movie on this and it was eye-opening. History is frightening and so incredibly interesting. Love

Evelyn said...

I just finished this book today! It was really fascinating. The historical fiction genre is my favorite! I felt enlightened and had a little history lesson, while being very much entertained! This was such a good book! I cant wait to share it with my book group! Any more recommendations?

royalkeister said...

The Book Thief. Ryan recommended it and its real good. Takes place during WWII.