Rasputin's Daughter

Rasputin's Daughter

3.9 21
by Robert Alexander
     
 

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From the author of the national bestseller The Kitchen Boy comes a gripping historical novel about imperial Russia’s most notorious figure

Called “brilliant” by USA Today, Robert Alexander’s historical novel The Kitchen Boy swept readers back to the doomed world of the Romanovs. His latest masterpiece once

Overview

From the author of the national bestseller The Kitchen Boy comes a gripping historical novel about imperial Russia’s most notorious figure

Called “brilliant” by USA Today, Robert Alexander’s historical novel The Kitchen Boy swept readers back to the doomed world of the Romanovs. His latest masterpiece once again conjures those turbulent days in a fictional drama of extraordinary depth and suspense. In the wake of the Russian Revolution, Maria Rasputin—eldest of the Rasputin children—recounts her infamous father’s final days, building a breathless narrative of intrigue, excess, and conspiracy that reveals the shocking truth of her father’s end and the identity of those who arranged it. What emerges is a nail-biting, richly textured new take on one of history’s most legendary episodes.

Editorial Reviews

Rebecca Reich
For readers who like their juicy scandals topped with a hearty dollop of history, Alexander serves up a satisfying portrait of a court in its last throes of decadence and intrigue.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
In an endeavor similar to his debut novel, The Kitchen Boy, Alexander couples extensive research and poetic license, this time turning his enthusiasm toward perhaps the most intriguing player in the collapse of the Russian dynasty: Rasputin. This eyebrow-raising account of the final week of the notorious mystic's life is set in Petrograd in December 1916 and narrated by Rasputin's fiery teenage daughter, Maria. The air in the newly renamed capital is thick with dangerous rumors, many concerning Maria's father, whose close relationship with the monarchy-he alone can stop the bleeding of the hemophiliac heir to the throne-invokes murderous rage among members of the royal family. Maria is determined to protect her father's life, but the further she delves into his affairs, the more she wonders: who, exactly, is Rasputin? Is he the holy man whose genuine ability to heal inspires a cult of awed penitents, or the libidinous drunkard who consumes 12 bottles of Madeira in a single night, the unrestrained animal she spies "[eagerly] holding [the] housekeeper by her soft parts"? Does this unruly behavior link him to an outlawed sect that believes sin overcomes sin? The combination of Alexander's research and his rich characterizations produces an engaging historical fiction that offers a Rasputin who is neither beast nor saint, but merely, compellingly human. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In this follow-up to his popular debut The Kitchen Boy, Alexander again mines the considerable lore of the Russian imperial family. Rasputin, the legendary mad monk, is also a family man raising two daughters in 1916 St. Petersburg. As he ministers to the tsaritsa and her royal brood during the last week of his life, 18-year-old Maria strives to understand the menacing aura surrounding her father. She is both loving and rebellious, but her adventures are limited to a flirtation with a young man who will betray her in a plot against her father. Alexander's wild-eyed romp through a period much studied for its contradictions and cruelties will be a staple of most historical fiction collections.-Barbara Conaty, Moscow, Russia Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"For readers who like their juicy scandals topped with a hearty dollop of history, Alexander serves up a satisfying portrait of a court in its last throes of decadence and intrigue." —The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780143038658
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/26/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
859,926
Product dimensions:
5.08(w) x 7.71(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"For readers who like their juicy scandals topped with a hearty dollop of history, Alexander serves up a satisfying portrait of a court in its last throes of decadence and intrigue." —-The Washington Post

Meet the Author

Robert Alexander has studied at Leningrad State University, worked for the U.S. government in the former U.S.S.R., and traveled extensively throughout Russia.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Birth:
August 23, 1952
Place of Birth:
Chicago, Illinois
Education:
B.A. in Russian Language and Creative Writing, Michigan State University, 1976

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Rasputin's Daughter 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
historianKC More than 1 year ago
I agree with most of the reviews it was an interesting story. To the person below it was not a waste of time. This book was written in 2004, the bones of the prince and princess Maria were not found until 2007. DNA proved that all the children along with their parents were killed. So at this time people may have still believed that the prince and princess anastasia got away. Therefore it was still an interesting mystery. History of this book was intensive and interesting.
MysM More than 1 year ago
Compelling Historical Fiction    Rasputin's Daughter is a cleverly-written blending of fact and fiction attempting to recreate the mystique of the controversial monk from the perspective of his daughter, Matryona Grigorevna Rasputina, known as Maria.  For the purposes of this story, Maria has returned to the Winter Palace, now ransacked and overrun by the people, where she is captured and interrogated by Aleksander Aleksandrovich Blok (once her favourite poet), who has been drafted and mandated by the "Exraordinary Commission to transcribe the Thirteenth Section's interrogation of those who knew Rasputin." The story begins with the record of an interrogation of one of the murderers -- a man who remains a mystery until almost the end of the novel.  His confession (in italics) about what he knows of the plot to assassinate Rasputin, and the events as they unfolded the evening of the 16th December, 1916, is told in pieces between the story Maria tells of the weeks leading up to the murder as she is discovering the many contradictory facets of her famous (or infamous) father's character.  The juxtaposition of the two stories is carefully planned and provides some suspense to a story that is, by now, well-documented and universally known. Petrograd (formerly St. Petersburg) is a city of great contrast and Alexander paints them all in a compelling way.   There is the aristocracy -- extremely wealthy, well-fed, living in amazingly lush palaces, dressed in elegant fur coats to brave the harsh Russian winter -- contrasted with the workers, the destitute, the wounded soldiers, and the deserters -- who, often dressed with only a ragged blanket over their shoulders, and with only the alleys to sleep in, create a seamier, dangerous side to the back streets and narrow passageways behind the shops and palaces.  We meet the pompous and the pathetic who line up on a daily basis to meet Rasputin in his study, to have a cup of tea from the steaming samovar (a heated metal container traditionally used to heat and boil water in and around Russia), and beg for healing, favours, or influence from the starets.  Then there is Tsarskoye Selo, the sumptuous palace of Tsar Nicholas II and the Tsarina, and their family of 4 daughters, the grand duchesses, and the heir to the Romanov throne, Aleksei Nikolaevich, a hemophiliac whose sufferings are only alleviated by Rasputin. "Unlike the great cities of Europe, the capital of unruly Russia was, ironically, a planned metropolis, conceived of and built by Peter the Great according to his strict vision.  Not only had the swamps been drained and the rivers contained, our roads were straight and methodical, lined with brick buildings covered with decorative, colourful stucco.  Behind the endless, orderly façades, however, it was a different matter.  Archways led to alleys, alleys split into passages, and passages dissolved into nooks and crannies, the lost corners that the lost characters of Dostoyevsky loved to inhabit and wallow in, festering in a dirty stew of anxiety and poverty.  And it was through just such a filthy maze that I now followed the agent." Maria struggles as she increasingly has no idea who she can trust in the deteriorating political scene in Petrograd.  She knows her father is hated by many of the aristocracy but also by members of the clergy, and even influential politicians in the Duma.  She mistrusts Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich who is known to have a "dark. . . lascivious" relationship with Prince Felix, and who she finds waiting for her father, naked in his bed.  Hateful letters are left under their door which she tries to read to her father to alert him to the danger.  A speech in the Duma by Vladimir Purishkevich blames the waning fortunes of war on an evil "[springing] from the Dark Forces, from those who push into high places people who are not worthy or capable of handling them.  And these influences are headed by Grishka Rasputin."  In an attempt to obtain information, Maria finds herself in the dangerous underworld of the "filthy maze" where desperate people lurk with evil intent. Not only is the writing exquisite, but the story rings true and is quite compelling despite our foreknowledge of the final outcome.  The final chapter tells what happened to all of the main characters of the story, and there is a timeline of events, as well as a glossary of all the Russian terms used by the author throughout the book.   Alexander seems to have included every rumoured characteristic of Rasputin to help present Maria as a young woman confused about who her father really is, and how he fits into the political scene:   is he a debauched and corrupt social climber or a gifted healer who struggles against his own temptations?  is he a catalyst for revolution or simply a scapegoat for a disintegrating social condition?  I'm a bit puzzled by the placid setting of the cover for such a tale of turmoil, and there was, perhaps, a bit too much of unsubstantiated rumours thrown into the mix to create a sensational story, but overall, I felt it was a plausible rendition of the life and times of Maria Rasputin who became the sole survivor of the Rasputin family.  A very enjoyable read.
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Christine Rowe More than 1 year ago
you will not be disappointed.
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Newyorkgirl89 More than 1 year ago
Alexander gives us a look inside the Rasputin family, through the eyes of the oldest daughter, Maria. We see her life before her father's murder, starting the week before and leading up to Rasputin's murder. Alexander gives Maria an innocence and determination that makes her a likable character, and eventually, you come to sympathize with Maria and even with Rasputin. By the end of the novel, it leaves you wanting to learn more about the Rasputins and the Romanov dynasty. Definately a great read!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Rasputin's Daughter is very detailed, and makes you feel as if you are going along for the ride with Maria. Simply put, this is an amazing book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for a Global Studies Honors class in my school. I was surprised that this book was not only well written, but seemed to capture the time period amazingly. The love/hate relationship between Maria and Sasha gave anticipation to the story as well. The ending was a complete shock, and made me want to cry =/.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this was an amazing young adult book that most people should read. It tells of a different point of view, Rasputin's Daughter. You can't even bealive your learning, it isn't like a text book at all. It tells of deception, hatred, love, and the amazing story that you just have to read to find out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I did not know very much about Rasputin, so I enjoyed learning about his life through the eyes of his daughter. Though there are some fictional accounts added, I found it to be very factual! It is captivating, I loved it!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although parts of the book dragged a bit(which were only a few), it really opened my eyes to what Russia was kind of like during that period of time. It was my first historical read, and it wasn't that bad. I loved how it was written and how it was told through Rasputin's daughter...someone who witnessed everything behind closed doors. I plan on reading Kitchen Boy very very soon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I will admit I liked 'The Kitchen Boy' better, but I thought this book was also well written. It is much darker novel, but then again Grigori Rasputin's life wasn't very happy or bright. It was interesting to read a different perspective of the Romanov's downfall from Rasputin's daughter, Maria. Overall I enjoyed 'Rasputin's Daughter.'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved 'The Kitchen Boy', so I was really excited about reading 'Rasputin's Daughter.' My book club even decided to read it. However, it was such a disappointment. It wasn't well written or well thought out. It was a waste of our time.