From the writings of Marie Nicolaevna Romanavna, age 19, July 17, 1918 - Midnight, in bed with her sister, Anastasia (Shvybz), in the Ipatiev Mansion in Ekaterinburg, during the last night of their lives.
"So much of my story unfolds by moonlight. This is a tale of midnight wakings and forced marches before dawn. Since this nightmare began, I do not dare undress, even to go to bed. I wear my dressing gown, my hair is prepared, and my shoes are set beside me. I have no idea when we will be summoned to rise. We have moved, as in the worst of dreams, slowly toward this place. There is no logic other than the sleepwalker's obedience - to follow instruction which we cannot resist: an actual lunacy.
"Now, I have control only of this - my record of what happened to us, to me. I have committed a single sin, my one terrible transgression. I pray to be absolved. In this recording of memory lies all meaning to my life. Let my will prevail in this, my ultimate wish, to salvage something of value from this tragedy. The rest, as my mother says, is in God's hands."
Here, in startling new historical detail, based on original diaries and letters, is the Romanov tragedy told from the point of view of the Tsar's third daughter, Marie, Anastasia's closest, older sister. Marie's story is unique - only Marie crossed the frozen Siberian river with her parents, and only Marie shared the full 78 days and nights in "The House of Special Purpose".
©2014 Laura Rose (P)2015 ListenUp Production, LLC
Yes. Rose is a fine writer. Webb and Smith both did admirable jobs narrating. In addition, their voices sounded appropriately youthful.
Yes, with reservations. This should be obvious, but this is a heartbreaking work. No one is perfect, but this close-knit family was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time historically--none of them deserved to die. It was a fascinating and touching but very, very tragic story.
I did think that Rose dwelt in too much gruesome detail on the botched executions and the disposal of the bodies.
Marie's brief love affair was very memorable. But I should specify that the Passion in the title likely refers to Marie's being canonized as a "passion bearer"--that is, a saint who suffered but faced death in a Christ-like manner--in the Russian Orthodox Church.
What I liked best was how normal the imperial family was. Although they owned an enormous number of fine things, they were also happy living simple lives--as long as they had each other.
There have already been movies about Anastasia. More could certainly be done. I'll leave the casting to someone else.
I was gifted this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
Yes, if they wanted a good but quick look at the last days of Imperial Russia.
I felt the narration was a bit overdone in spots, but that is probably a matter of personal taste.
Pleasant, compelling, imaginative
Possibly. I have mixed feelings about delving into the sexual life of a recent historical figure (in contrast to early historical figures we know very little about & therefore have to fill in details to have a story to write about), especially a young girl. I think that part of the book bothered me particularly because of the brutal way Marie and her family were murdered, and how their bodies were treated with massive indignity, and because of all the speculation about Rasputin having sex with the Romanov girls and the Tsarina when they were alive. I think enough speculation about sexual scandal in that family has already been aired. I don't feel I need to know or contemplate the state of Marie's virginity when she was murdered; it just feels like crossing a boundary to me.
I like historical novels.
Children as always are at the mercy of their parents, good or bad. Marie was fortunate in having a loving, educated and wealthy family. Little though did she know of the horrors taking place outside their bubble. It is still tragic to have such a brutal ending. I'm glad she was able to write her diary so that we can know what it was like living in what seemed to be a beautiful life but how quickly that can change. Her end was beyond evil. A piece of history through the eyes of such a young person sure gives a different view on such an unsettled time.
This is an excellent story, but the female narration is an unending overly-melodramatic soliloquy that is exhausting after the first few hours. Everything is emoted over, whether it is a washcloth, embroidery, or actual peril. I would not choose this narrator again.
Professional Actress and Audiobook Narrator. Lifetime Story Teller.
Taking us back into the thoughts of the "other" Romanov sister, Marie, Laura Rose creates a window into the Romanov family story right before their tragic and brutal death. I enjoyed the in-depth character development Rose conceived for this middle daughter. Her thoughts were clear and her emotions true but were lengthy at times and sometimes repetitive; However, it did provided us with key knowledge and backstory which led to understanding the families current circumstance. The vast majority of the writing flowed with historical accuracy with a few modern day phrases or words that, although, may throw off some history buff, was easy to forgive in the well thought out writing.
Lillian Web, the main narrator, was remarkable. Her ability to keep an energy to her voice for this lengthy piece and add genuine emotion is notable and was enjoyed. Her diction and timing were superb. Travis Smith, voicing the character Mikhail Letemin, was a smooth reader and easy to listen too. He had the hardest part I believe in this audiobook, narrating, in detail, the way in which this family was brutally murdered. It was hard to listen too, and I give Smith credit for reading it effortlessly.
Overall, this was a pretty good book. I would recommend this to those who enjoy historical works and historical fiction.
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.
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