Step aside The Other Boleyn Girl! Move over, Wolf Hall! Mr. Georgy Jachmenev, retired Londoner book cataloger, has some things about his past he’d like you to know. Things he never would have considered revealing until his beloved wife Zoya’s recent death from brain cancer. You see, Georgy and Zoya weren’t exactly the colorless, ordinary Russian emigres their co-workers and acquaintances have always supposed. Mr. Jachmenev was once a loyal servant to Russia’s last Tsar. He would like to add his account to the reams already amassed of the Romanov’s last days.
First off, the Tsarina was haughty and the Tsar too imperial and the damage done by the Tsarina’s confidant, the priest Rasputin, considerable.
The royal Romanovs didn’t heed the people’s cries of too much war! too little bread! give us reform! After three hundred years of uninterrupted Tsardom, they could not fathom how their crowns might ever tumble. They realized the danger too late. Their palace became their prison and their guards became their jailers and then their executioners.
But on the night of July 18, 1918, the Bolsheviks’ massacre of the captive Romanovs did not quite go as planned. Mr. Jachmenev would like to confirm that the rumors are true: one royal did escape execution.
The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne: falls don’t come any steeper. Rescues don’t come any less probable.