Book review: The True Memoirs of Little K
I've become picky with the books I read recently. For some reason I don't seem to be able to read fiction that's not either completely superb or at least approximating a Lee Child thriller.
Thankfully The True Memoirs of Little K fell into the completely superb camp. Well, just look at its cover - it's exquisite.
It's a fictionalised account of a real person - Mathilde Kshessinsky, the ballerina mistress of the last czar of Russia, Nicholas Romanov, who was deposed in the bolshevik uprisings of the early 20th century and was then brutally murdered with his entire family in a basement in Siberia. (Famously, a woman claiming be his daughter, Anastasia, and to have survived the massacre, came to light halfway through the 20th century.)
I love these types of novels - full of history and culture of times and places that have now disappeared. I've read a little bit of Russian literature - Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and the like, and of course, I've always loved ballet, so meshing the two together and adding in politics, court intrigue, wonderful characters and a 'will they, won't they' thread of suspense running all the way through, just made it better.
I learned a lot too. I've heard of people like 'Rasputin' without ever knowing who he was or what he did, and I never really understood what the problems were that sparked such massive revolution in Russia.
The writing style is exquisite, the research is extensive and the details are impeccable. This is a book that I admire greatly.I aspire to this kind of writing, although I think I might be a little lazy when it comes to research. But seriously, I couldn't take my head out of it and I will be looking out for more writing by Adrienne Sharp.
Someone said once that she never gave 10 out of 10 for anything, because nothing is perfect. But I disagree. This book is perfect and it scores a 10 with me.