"The House of Special Purpose" weaves a story starting in the times of Tsar Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution. It's told as memoir by Georgy Jachmenev, who was there and served as a body guard to Alexie, son of the Tsar. Georgy reveals the secrets of his past in Russia and Paris and how it led to his job in London as a librarian at the British Library. The central relationship of his life is with his wife Zoya, who has seen and survived much in her life. The story is deconstructed in time and told backwards and forwards, which adds to the drama of the tale. Part historical fiction, part romance, and part tragedy, this book is a thrilling look at one of Russia's most tumultuous eras.
Recommended by Lee O'Brien