The Romanovs: the Final Chapter by Robert K Massie was not what I was expecting but thoroughly enjoyed. I relished reading about all the forensics that has gone into testing the Romanovs’ bones and the attempts to identify who is who in the mass grave site. Plus the book talks about the imposters and family members that survived the Communist take-over.
Robert K. Massie is an excellent writer. He has Pulitzer Prize and has several well known books. I will have to say he merges an investigative style, forensic science and easy to read style.
When I read the book title, I really thought it would be more about the deaths and capture of the Romanov family. But I was mistaken but not in a bad way. It really discussed the death and what happened from there. Which has an interesting history all to itself.
I learned a lot in this book. One of the things I found to be the most interesting was the idea of the missing Romanov daughter. I never knew that the Russians believe that it was Marie who wasn’t buried with the family while most of Europe and America believe it was Anastasia. I also learned about the how the imposters and how there was such a struggle to test/rate the credibility of each person. Plus while it was harder to believe, it was neat to read about the person who claimed to be the tsarevich (who was also not found in the mass grave).
The biggest downside to this book was the fact part of it is out of date. The book was written in 1995 before the second Romanov burial plot was found (in 2007). By finding the second set of remains that included Alexei and the missing daughter. Now there will always be some debate about if the missing daughter was Anastasia or Marie, but it does prove that the entire family did die at the hands of the Soviet Revolution.
I really liked the book. It was interesting and that blend of forensics and biography.