The House of Special Purpose

Boyne, John

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The House of Special Purpose
Part love story, part historical epic, part tragedy, The House of Special Purpose illuminates an empire at the end of its reign. Eighty-year-old Georgy Jachmenev is haunted by his past--a past of death, suffering, and scandal that will stay with him until the end of his days. Living in England with his beloved wife, Zoya, Georgy prepares to make one final journey back to the Russia he once knew and loved, the Russia that both destroyed and defined him. As Georgy remembers days gone by, we are transported to St. Petersburg, to the Winter Palace of the czar, in the early twentieth century--a time of change, threat, and bloody revolution. As Georgy overturns the most painful stone of all, we uncover the story of the house of special purpose.

Publisher: New York : Other Press, 2013
Edition: Other Press ed
ISBN: 1590515986
Branch Call Number: FICTION BOYNE 2013
Characteristics: 469 p. ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

In a tiny Russian village of Kashen, seventeen year-old Georgy Jachmenev steps in front of a bullet meant for the Tsar’s uncle. As a reward for his bravery, Georgy is offered a job working for Tsar Nicholas and his family as the personal bodyguard to young Alexei Romanov.

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May 01, 2014
  • muffin0321 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A very good book. Only drawback is that it skipped around a lot. Chapters would go from 1917 to 1982 and then back to 1917 and then to 1935, etc. But surprisingly I had no difficulty in keeping the thread of the story going. Well worth the read.

Apr 03, 2014
  • MsNavillus rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a beautifully written novel with complex characters. It's been a long time since I was sad to finish a book, and with The House of Special Purpose I felt like I was saying goodbye to dear friends.

Oct 24, 2013
  • InvernessS rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Pure historical fantasy, which I ended up skimming for that reason. It's a 'what if story line'. The subject in itself is fascinating & one I seldom get tired of reading/hearing. The tease throughout the book as to what the great mystery is of the couple fell flat for me. I don't doubt émigrés were treated as described. Again, my choice for Russian lit is Tolstoy, Pasternak or Russian writers - however, Rutherfurd does such a great job I could read it again.

Jun 20, 2013
  • MaisieMilo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I am a total Russophile and love the Imperial Family like my own. While I was aware of all the historical inaccuracies in THoSP, I really didn't care. It worked as a novel, gracefully woven and lovingly recounted. In fact, I think the fact that I have read so much history on the subject enhanced my experience with this lovely book. Highly recommended. (And, yes,. I'm aware that I used three variations on the word "love" in this review . . . take that as a sign!)

Feb 27, 2013

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"As enthralling and intricate as a Faberge egg, The House of Special Purpose is a rare treasure readers will savor." --Jaclyn Fulwood

Aug 25, 2012

I love to read. I read as many books as I have time to, sometimes a book a day. I've enjoyed many of the books I've read in the past, but this is the first time I've felt compelled to comment on a book. It is beautifully written and you just want to keep reading. It is a heart-breaking love story, yet full of hope. John Boyne is masterful at pulling you into the story, making you feel like you're in the story, rather thank reading words on paper. Loved it!

Jun 15, 2010
  • Lamplighter rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was a book that just kept on pulling me in. Beautiful story, beautifully written.


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