This was heavy at times, but the author has a very disarming and descriptive way of writing so it's worth persevering! He intertwines personal opinions or anecdotes in a very Russian way. He writes that Catherine the Great was a 'graphomaniac', for example, and how wonderful and exciting it is to feel that creative flow when one can't stop writing!
The stories of the empresses are interesting and I liked reading about the magnificence of life at court. I didn't realise that Peter the Great chose a simple peasant girl to become his empress. Her Cinderella life was even more of a fairy tale than our Princess Mary's!
Christmas Lessons by Janine Boissard
This was a delicately written book about the strength of a French family which has to deal with the consequences of a nasty incident on the Paris Metro and a young daughter's pregnancy and several other events. Pauline, the heroine, bec…