Tzar Nicholas, Tzarina Alexandra
Princesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia & Prince Alexander
"The Romanov Sisters," by author Helen Rappaport is the story of the "lost lives of the daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra." The Romanovs ruled Russia from the 1600s to the day Tzar Nicholas resigned in 1917 during a revolution. The Bolsheviks (the Red Army,) revolted against the Tzar's rule, and imprisoned the family. Then in fear their captives would be rescued by forces of the anti-communist White Army and thus become a rallying point for the opposition, they executed them. This part of the story is well known to anyone familiar with the history of Russia.
"The Romanov Sisters" is a look into the lives and personalities of each sister. Author Rappaport puts the reader into that turbulent era of history from 1905 through to 1918, using diaries and writings of the girls. The book focuses on the differences between Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, and their rather empty, though luxurious lives, They lived away from the public eye, sheltered, with only each other as playmates. The only contact they had with anyone outside their immediate family and caretakers, were some of the Tzar's guards. Any sort of permanent liaison with one of them was out of the question, since they were commoners. This put the girls completely out of touch with society and with reality. The reality was, they were hated by the Bolsheviks, who wanted them and their entire family obliterated. The girls, innocent, and coming into their teens, naively assumed their father and mother were loved by the populace. As they took their turn serving as nurses to their White Army casualties, they had no idea they were living on borrowed time. They had no way of knowing that it wouldn't be enough for the opposing forces to just depose their father from the throne. They expected respect and concern for their family's well-being, since they were royalty. Little did they know........
How do you rule a country filled with superstition, poverty and starvation without coming under the scrutiny of the masses? As the Romanovs hid away because of the illnesses of the Tzaritsa Alexandra and the heir to the throne, Tzarevich Alexander, the population came to have hard feelings against the family. The Romanovs were completely out of touch with the people and their suffering. Still, the removal from power should have been enough. But in the fear that they could somehow rally the population, it was decided they should all die, even the innocent children, because even they could be a threat to the Communist movement.
The author of The Sisters: Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra, Helen Rappaport, also authored another book about the entire family and their end of days. It's titled "The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg and is available, along with this reviewed book, for purchase below from Amazon. Both books are well researched and written. Helen Rappaport has a fine reputation as an author who knows her subject; these books prove that out.