The Tsarina’s Daughter by Carolly Erickson
The premise of Carolly Erickson’s “The Tsarina’s Daughter” is that one of the Romanov daughters, Archduchess Tatiana, survives the massacre of her family and lives to write her memoir as an old woman.
Now, this premise immediately puts “The Tsarina’s Daughter” more squarely in the camp of ‘fiction’ than ‘history’ as we know that Tatiana did not, in fact, survive – nor did anyone in the family. Beyond that, I would guess that many of the specifics about Tatiana’s life: her loves, her journeys out of the palace, her feelings about her family. That being said, I did very much enjoy this book as a way to get a feel for some of the more major events and the mood in Europe and Russia around the time of the Russian Revolution. Tatiana was a great character and I appreciated how she grew to see both sides of the conflict; although she loved her parents, she was not blind to their disasterous flaws and was increasingly frustrated by these flaws as she grew older and the situation around her grew worse.
Overall this was an enjoyable piece of historical fiction and would be a good jumping off point for readers who want to explore revolutionary Russia.
Note: I consumed this as an audiobook. The narrator was good; not ‘oh my gosh! fantastic!’ like the narrators for “America America” or “The Thirteenth Tale,” but did a good job keeping me in the story (although I did get a bit annoyed at some of her voices for Tatiana’s sisters).