Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Mirrored World-Debra Dean

The Mirrored World

Debra Dean

Harper, Aug 28 2012, $25.99

ISBN: 9780061231452

Her family knows that Xenia is an eccentric who dances to her own uplifting passionate beat. However even her sister Nadya and their cousin Dasha who grew-up with the independent Xenia are taken aback by her behavior at a royal ball. At the gala, Xenia and acts foolishly without any regard when she meets Colonel Andrei. Xenia does not care what the empress, the aristocracy or her family thinks as she envisions him as her husband.

After they marry, Dasha moves in with them. However when their infant dies followed by Andrei’s death while wearing her long gown at a cross dressing ball, Xenia suffers a breakdown. a lightly fictionalized retelling of the life of the Eastern Orthodox St. Xenia, who left her comfortable home in 18th-century Russia to live as a "holy fool" among the poor. Grieving, she breaks the law by giving away much of her material goods and begins wearing her late husband’s clothing while calling herself Andrei. Dasha, who married and became a widow too, somewhat follows her cousin’s example of helping the poor with donations. Xenia vanquishes for years until she returns as a saint to the impoverished masses.

This is an intriguing look at eighteenth century Russian St. Xenia that provides the audience with how much the protagonist is differed from her horrified St. Petersburg peers. Dasha tells most of the engaging storyline in a distant dry manner so that the reader never feels the passions of the heroine. Still fans will enjoy witnessing The Mirrored World of a “fool for Christ”.

Harriet Klausner

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