There is one great love in everyone's life. For Ducky, Princess Victoria Melita, hers was a Romanov cousin, a member of the doomed Russian royal family. Her father is Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Victoria's second son. Her mother is Grand Duchess Marie, the daughter of Tsar Alexander III.
Ducky seems doomed to be a pawn on her grandmother's dynastic chessboard. But Ducky is not so easily controlled. In an era when death is considered preferable to divorce she fights for the freedom to be with the true love of her life. From disgraced exile in Paris to the glitter of St Petersburg and the mud and carnage of the Eastern Front, she forges her own path.
As Russia descends into the chaos of 1917 and the Romanov dynasty falters, Ducky is right at the heart of events. Exiled once more, she tells us her story.
©2014 Laurie Graham (P)2014 WF Howes Ltd
A very absorbing story about one of Queen Victoria's grandaughters. I had barely heard of Victoria Melita (known as "Ducky") but Laurie Graham's novel made her life come alive. Ducky led a life that was in many ways very privileged but she was also a pawn in her grandmother's diplomatic game of marrying off her female relations to German princes. Ducky didn't let this stand in the way of true love but ended up having a grandstand view of the fall of the Romanov Dynasty and the early days of the Russian Revolution.
The narration is a little slow at times but this suited the reflective tone of Ducky's memories and I thought the narrator caught Ducky's voice and the voice of her relatives well. A very enjoyable listen with some genuinely tense moments even though I knew the outcome.
Brilliant narration of a fascinating story. The huge cast of characters, many of whom have multiple names and titles are kept distinct by the skilled narrator.
This true story loses nothing of its intrigue during the book even though the eventual fate of the Romanovs is well known.
Even after a long journey I was none too keen to turn it off and get out of the car! I would recommend this book it to anyone interested in a true family saga. It's compulsive listening!
Ducky was flawed but warm and good hearted. A real life Victorian I knew little of. Learning of the highs and lows of her life allowed me to develop a real understanding of her.
Far too long for that but I was always keen to listen to '5 more minutes'
Treat yourself..you won't regret it.
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