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This is an auction for THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE, by John Boyne.

"Russophiles should immediately comprehend the title of Boyne’s suspenseful and touching novel. In 1981, as his adored wife, Zoya, lies dying, Georgy Jachmenev, an elderly Londoner, reflects on their lengthy marriage and the secret tragedies they endured. A parallel plotline opens in early twentieth-century Russia as young Georgy, a muzhik (peasant) from a backwater village, saves the life of the czar’s cousin and is brought to St. Petersburg, where he becomes protector to the frail czarevich and finds romance with Grand Duchess Anastasia. The two narratives dovetail, as the latter progresses forward in time and the former marches steadily backward. The book’s central mystery is ingeniously constructed and gripping nonetheless. While no prior historical knowledge is required, the more familiar readers are with the Romanovs, the more clues (and false leads) they will encounter as they proceed. Boyne takes some factual liberties, particularly in the earlier-set segments, but he also skillfully evokes the wrenching pain of loss and exile while presenting a tribute to enduring love."
- Booklist review:

"I love character-driven novels, and this one didn't disappoint. Boyne did a great job writing a main character much older than him as well as the tender naivety of teenagers. He brought the Romanovs to life, giving them believable personalities that made the demise you knew was coming even more heart breaking. Though I predicted the twist rather early, I still really enjoyed seeing it played out. The last chapter was by far my favorite, particularly the last page. So beautiful!"

More very favourable reviews on

Paperback 2009.

428 pages.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $3.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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