Because Ideas Matter...
The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal
Arts and Sciences presents
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar
by Robert Alexander, Penguin, 2004
Reviewed by Lacey Echols
The Kitchen Boy,by Robert Alexander, is a novel about the final
days of the last tsar, Nicholas Romanov and his wife Alexandra, and
the family's imprisoned existence after the revolution in 1919. The
story is told from the perspective of the young kitchen boy,
Leonka, who lived in the house of detention with the family during
this time. He was able to leave the house to run errands and
also to deliver messages, and he claims to be the last witness to
their murders. There is great detail about each of the daughters,
the hemophiliac son, and the personal family relationships, all
told from the kitchen boy's perspective. The history is intriguing
and educational. The story shows a family not so
different from other families but one which was dealing with much
fear and worry for their lives.
The Russian revolution has always been a
fascinating part of twentieth-century history, and there is much
interest in the downfall and murders of the entire royal family.
From a historical perspective, even though the novel is very
illuminating, at times the novel seems to belabor the family's
existence and imprisonment. However, the novel is extremely
popular, and anyone who reads this novel, so extensively researched
by Mr. Alexander, will come away glad to have read the book.
The Kitchen Boy may be an inspiration to others for even more
research about this period of time in Russia.
- Lacey Echols is Instructor of Mathematics at Butler