Enchantments

Enchantments

Kathryn Harrison

From one of the most admired literary voices of our time, a magical, riveting story of doomed love, set at the fall of Russia’s last Tsar.

St. Petersburg, 1917: as the New Year dawns, a diver pulls the murdered body of Rasputin, the Mad Monk, from the icy waters of the Neva River. Hours later, his daughters are taken to the Tsar’s palace, where the Tsarina makes a shocking request: would Masha, 18, take on her father’s role as healer at the sickbed of the Tsarevitch Alyosha? Shaken, Masha agrees to do what she can for the young prince, haunted as she is by questions about her father’s powers and her future in a country accelerating toward political apocalypse.

Two months later, the Bolshevik Revolution forces the Tsar to abdicate, and the whole royal family is placed under arrest in the Alexander Palace. Trapped together in increasingly harsh living conditions, Masha and Alyosha find themselves taking increasing solace in one another’s company. The two teenagers, with radically different experiences of Russia, of Rasputin, and of Alyosha’s parents’ unlucky reign, create a private realm of magic and of love, as Masha introduces the young Tsarevitch to a wild and beautiful land he will never live to rule.

An unusual love story, stitched delicately into the rich tapestry of Russian history, Enchantments brings to life the final days of Rasputin and the Romanovs. It is a breathtaking tour-de-force by one of our most acclaimed writers.

Reviews of Enchantments

    • “A sumptuous, atmospheric account of the last days of the Romanovs from the perspective of Rasputin’s daughter, Enchantments animates a kaleidoscopic breadth of historical detail with the sensuous, transporting prose that is Kathryn Harrison’s trademark.” JENNIFER EGAN, author of A Visit From the Goon Squad
    • “Ask yourself who, in all the world, would be the best novelist to imagine being Rasputin’s daughter. Kathryn Harrison makes the answer obvious. Her Enchantments is a stupendous work of historical imagination.” PETER CAREY
    • ‘Marvellously evocative … The stories that Masha spins out for the bed-bound tsarevich flow out effortlessly in her plain, clear voice, making many of them indeed enchanting’ Guardian