The House Of Special Purpose by John Boyne is a simply marvellous, epic, historical novel that totally consumed me.
John Boyne is a fabulous author who has clearly researched the Romanov family and their role in history. He has combined facts with fiction to produce a compelling read. The facts are extrapolated as the novel speeds to its conclusion. As a historian, I knew what was coming but was totally fascinated never-the-less.
The novel follows the main protagonist forwards from 1915 and backwards from 1981, until the two time periods collide. Both time periods are written in the first person and from the same viewpoint.
Historical figures are brought to life under the masterful pen of John Boyne. Rasputin has an air of menace and is more than a little creepy. Alexei is wrapped in cotton wool and we ‘feel’ his frustration.
The novel is an epic read, realistic and totally gripping. I read it in just two sittings. John Boyne is a marvellous author.