Picks and Pans Review: The Tsarina's Daughter

updated 10/13/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/13/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Carolly Erickson

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Another saga about Russia's Grand Duchess Anastasia? Nyet. Here it's her older, bolder sister Tatiana who survives the 1918 Bolshevik massacre of the Romanov family—and lives to tell of her complicated girlhood. Shocked at the squalor in St. Petersburg, Tatiana develops a social conscience, becomes a nurse and falls for a patient. She's an engaging heroine, grappling with her father's self-indulgence and her mother's mental illness even as the streets are exploding with communist rebels. Suspenseful and detailed, the novel captures a dramatic moment in history and will sear you with sorrow for this doomed daughter of the last tsar.


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