Thursday, October 04, 2018

The Race to Save the Romanovs

The Race to Save the Romanovs: The Truth Behind the Secret Plans to Rescue the Russian Imperial Family. Helen Rappaport. 2018. 464 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: In April 1894 the last of a succession of royal dynastic marriages engineered by Queen Victoria as 'Grandmama of Europe' took place in Coburg, the capital of the German Duchy of Hesse and by Rhine.

Premise/plot: The title says it all. This one is about "the race" to "save" the Romanovs. Of course, the Romanovs were not saved. There may have been many people from quite a few countries talking about trying to save, making plans and plotting. Though they had a LOT of relatives in MANY countries across Europe, there is ongoing debate about which countries were willing to welcome them and accept them and which countries decidedly did NOT want them.

This one asks questions: Could the Romanovs have been saved? Why weren't the Romanovs saved? Why were there no real attempts made to get them out of Russia and safely into another country? Was there more talk than action? How can you know what is actually true and what is myth?

All "attempts" to save them have to figure out HOW to get them out of Russia (by sea, by land) and WHERE they will go--which country will take them in and welcome them. Rescue attempts must be well thought out and possible. This isn't Star Wars.

Essentially her response is that there are many, many, many factors to consider. It would never have been an easy matter to get the whole family out of Russia. Not all members of the family were in good health and up to the trip--at least not all the time. Other factors include: the military and political factions warring within Russia, the warring nations without, the mob(s) that have been hating on the family for decades, transportation logistics (how to get them from point to point to point until they are safe), WEATHER, the emotional and mental states of the family. Weather, for example, limited rescue attempts to certain weeks or months of the year. To carry out a plan would require meticulous planning and no mistakes. (Thousands of things could go wrong.) As far as the mental/emotional health of the family goes, did the family want to be rescued if it meant permanent exile? did they welcome attempts that would separate the family? were there countries they were unwilling to live? Did they want to be "rescued" but only on their own terms?

Rappaport essentially argues that there is no one person responsible for their deaths. King George V though often blamed for failing to save them is not solely responsible. It was not in his power to save them. Even if he had wanted to save them, even if he was willing to risk political instability in his own country, even if he was willing to keep pursuing a rescue, there never would have been a guarantee that the Romanovs could have been saved in the end. No one monarch, no one country could have managed it. Too many factors were involved. Together--united as one, working seamlessly together--perhaps, perhaps.   

My thoughts: I needed to put this one in the freezer. It was a hard read at times. You can know it's coming and know it's coming and still be surprised by your response when it actually happens. Her ultimate conclusion is that from the moment Nicholas II abdicated, the family was doomed.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP