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Sunday, May 13, 2012

"The Last Romanov" by Dora Levy Mossanen ~ Fabulous Book Hands Down

So very gorgeously written, so descriptive and rich in history, this book is unbelievably special. I was sunk from the beginning...and I had so much to do this Mother's Day weekend!  Sumptuous writing, so gaudy with lush descriptions of Romanovs, their homes and sycophants that my head was swimming
 as if I'd drunk too much Massandra wine from one of the Tsar's seaside estates.
I was spun back in time to the Palaces with the little witch Darya Spiridova, nanny/aunt to the precious Tsarevich before he and his family were killed. 
 Or, was he killed with his family?  That's the mystery of "The Last Romanov," that and what  true place did Darya play in the unfolding horror and redemption of the past.
Floating back and forth in time over a span of 80-some years, we are tossed through a magnificent
time of war and peace.  Dora Levy Mossanen is a tour guide like none other as she finely details all manner of things,
lending an authenticity to her story that brings chills of delight to a reader of historical fiction.
She is quite painterly in her art of writing.
Historical details are impeccable and gave the reading another pleasurable dimension.
I was unaware, for instance, but loved finding out, that Empress Alexandra's favorite fragrance was
Rose Blanche.
This book ended for me with a sigh.  I had such reluctance to let it go.
I know all of you who love historical fiction will just die for it.
5 luscious stars on a diamond encrusted tray,  and a pinch of Ambergris for fragrance!

Particulars of the Book:
Published by ~ Sourcebooks
Pages ~ About 354
Genre ~ Historical Fiction
Author website:  http://doralevymossanen.com


She was an orphan, ushered into the royal palace on
the prayers of her majesty. Yet, decades later, her time
spent in the embrace of the Romanovs haunts her still. Is she
responsible for those murderous events that changed everything?
If only she can find the heir, maybe she can put together the
broken pieces of her own past—maybe she can hold on to
the love she found. Bursting to life with the rich and glorious
marvels of Imperial Russia, The Last Romanov is a magical tale
of second chances and royal blood.

A Little Something About This Amazing Author :

Dora Levy Mossanen was born in Israel as the country was gaining its independence and moved to Iran with her family when she was nine years old. After living in Israel, where female soldiers wore shorts and carried Uzis, she had a difficult time adjusting to Iranian culture, which required women to conceal themselves under chadors. The first days of her arrival coincided with the 1953 coup of Dr. Mossadegh when the Shah fled to Italy. Streets brimmed with demonstrators, supporting Dr. Mossadegh and dragging down statues of Mohammad Reza Shah. And the very next day, portraits of the Shah were displayed again and blaring microphones announced his return. These were her first experiences in a country of contradictions, a culture rich in legend, mythology, folklore, and superstition.

Her family’s roots go back 2,500 years in Persia, where her first inspiration and invaluable source of history was her grandfather, Doctor Habib Levy, a renowned historian. Dr. Levy introduced Dora to life in Mahaleh, the Jewish ghetto, to the horrors of anti-Semitism, and to the challenges of being Jewish in a Moslem country. The Islamic Revolution of 1979, the fall of the Shah, and arrival of the Ayatollah Khomeini forced Mossanen and her family to leave Iran. They settled in Los Angeles, California and became part of what is now the largest Iranian community in the United States.

Despite being married, raising two daughters, and facing great opposition, Ms. Mossanen went back to school, causing another mini revolution—this one in her own home. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of California Los Angeles and a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Southern California.

Dora is the bestselling author of the widely acclaimed novels Harem and Courtesan, which have been translated into numerous languages, and is the recipient of the prestigious San Diego Editor’s Choice Award. She blogs for Huffington Post, reviews fiction for the Jewish Journal, and has been featured in various publications.

I hope you'll take time to visit Ms Mossanen's website and blog.  Fascinating!  You'll love her book...promise.

Thanks for stopping by.




Oh man, you've made this book sound so good! I don't read a lot of historical fiction but am fascinated with that time period.


This book was incredibly good. I read a netgalley copy of it, and now have to go get a hard copy for reading again! I loved it and want it for my library.


I love books like this that are rich in history!

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