rating: 3 of 5 stars
I like to throw the occasional work of historical fiction into the mix of my reading list. Rasputin’s Daughter is set during the eve of the Russian Revolution in the early 20th century in St. Petersburg. It tells of the final days of Rasputin’s life & the eve of the Russian Revolution told through the eyes of his 18-year old daughter, Maria. Maria waffles between being in awe of her father’s abilities as a mystic and spiritual leader and of doubting if he is truly a great man.
Never before tonight had I questioned by father. Never before this evening had I doubted him. But staring at this man with the beastly hair on his head and that thicket on his cheeks, this crude man with bits of food hanging from his mouth and from his filthy, greasy fingers, how could I not?
The novel was a quick & easy read, but in my opinion it bordered a bit on being cheesy and contrived. I didn’t find Maria’s “relationship” with a young man named Sasha at all believable. She meets him on a boat and develops a crush on him almost immediately. And despite all signs that point to him not being quite what he seems, she continues to be infatuated by him. At the same time, Maria hears rumors of people plotting to kill her father and tries to protect him and find out more about the plot against him. I would have like the novel to delve a bit more into the intrigue that was occurring in Russia at that time in history. I felt there was too much focus on Maria fretting about her Sasha-crush and her confusion and concern for her father.
My book club chose to read Rasputin’s Daughter since it was included on Indiebound’s List of Reading Group Picks. I can’t wait to hear what everyone else thought of the book. If your book club reads Rasputin’s Daughter, you can use the Reading Group Guide to give you discussion topics.
Looking for something to munch on while you read Rasputin’s Daughter? You can eat lot of white fish like Rasputin or how about some sauerkraut cakes…