Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-02-06
- Reviewer: Staff
It is 1991 and Darya Borodina Spiridova is 104 years old. The world of imperial Russia—and the finest days of her life—are long gone. Then a letter from the Russian Nobility Association, a persistent circle of monarchists, arrives at her dilapidated Russian palace, summoning her to a meeting where they propose to fill the void left by communism by reinstating the monarchy. Darya is plunged back into her life in the Romanov court, where she was aunt to czarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, heir apparent to the throne of Russia, who she believes survived and for whom she has spent her life searching. Now, with the Romanov grave discovered sans Alexei’s remains, she must travel to meet a claimant to the throne, whom she believes to be her beloved Alexei. However, her host, Grand Duchess Sophia Sheremetev, demands to hear the story of her opulent youth in the Russian court and its subsequent collapse, before revealing the identity of the possible heir. Through this last act of memory, Darya purges her survivor guilt and regret over her lost family and the long life she has spent trying to find Alexei. Mossanen’s magical tale recasts familiar material in a modern light and injects pathos into a historic tragedy. Agent: Anna Ghosh, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Apr.)