Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The House Of Special Purpose-John Boyne

The House Of Special Purpose

John Boyne

Other Press, Apr 2 2013, $16.95


ISBN: 9781590515983

In 1981 octogenarian Georgy Daniilovich Jachmenev looks back on his life especially growing up in Russia before the Revolution. When he was sixteen, inexplicably at least to him or his family, he was selected as companion to the tsarist heir Prince Alexei. Six and a half decades later he still cannot fathom why an uneducated rural peasant was chosen; especially after Tsar Nicholas II explained his tasks to him.

In St. Petersburg for the first time, Georgy sees fifteen year old Anastasia and feels an attraction like no other. After residing in The House Of Special Purpose in Ekaterinburg for the first year after the Revolution dethroned the Tsar, Georgy and his wife Zoya flee his homeland; never to see any family member again. In Paris he worked at a bookstore and now at eight-two Georgy lives in London looking back at his life in Russia.

This is an entertaining retelling of Anastasia from the perspective of someone her age who worked for the imperial family and survived their overthrow. The storyline engages the audience but is more an enjoyable historical romance than a profound look at the fate of the Tsar, Tsarina and their family especially Anastasia.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: