Author: Robert Alexander
Title: The Romanov Bride
Publication Date: 2008
Number of Pages: 306
Part of a Series: no, although 2 other books written about the same time period in Russia (The Kitchen Boy and Rasputin’s Daughter)
- Class conflict
- Romanov-House of-fiction
Geographical Setting/ Time Period: Russia (USSR), early 1900s
Ella (Grand Duchess Elisabeth Fyodorovna) - a beautiful, religious German-born princess; Pavel- revolution-drawn peasant
Plot Summary: This novel combines two life stories from different social classes which take Russia from before the revolution to just after the revolution. Ella begins as a princess in Germany before marrying into the Russian royal family and ends her life as the head of her own convent in Moscow. Pavel begins as a peasant moving to St. Petersburg and is swept into the revolution after his wife’s life is lost in the massacre on Bloody Sunday. Their lives intersect when the paths they are on cross due to the revolution.
Appeal: The chapters in this book switch between Pavel and Ella weaving their separate lives together. It is relayed in first person with a few Russian words included. It is character driven with historic details. It balances the two worlds and shows the human side of the revolution.
Brief quote: “Within minutes after the bombing some priest had got himself back to the Kremlin’s Chudov Monastery, where he started ringing a lone bell against the steely winter sky…This was how my poor Sergei was carried to the heavens, to the tolls of bells and on the wings of my very own prayers.” (p.97)
Prizes or Awards: none
Fiction- the Red Wheel series by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (WWI to Russian Revolution),
Emily by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (Russian aristocracy around the same time period)
Non-fiction- Nicholas and Alexandra or The Romanovs: The Final Chapter by Robert K. Massie
Reviewer’s Name: Erin Bedford
Form adapted from Saricks, Joyce G. and Nancy Brown. Readers= Advisory Service in the Public Library 2nd. Chicago: ALA, 1997.