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The House of Special Purpose

Written by: John Boyne
Narrated by: Richard Teverson
Length: 17 hrs and 38 mins
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Russia, 1915: At the age of 16, Georgy Jachmenev steps in front of an assassin's bullet intended for a senior member of the Russian Imperial Family and is instantly proclaimed a hero. Before the week is out, his life as the son of a peasant farmer is changed forever when he is escorted to St Petersburg to take up his new position - as bodyguard to Alexei Romanov, the only son of Tsar Nicholas II.

Sixty-Five years later, visiting his wife Zoya as she lies dying in a London hospital, memories of the life they have lived together flood his mind. Their marriage, while tender, has been marked by tragedy, the loss of loved ones and experiences of exile that neither can forget.

©2009 John Boyne (P)2009 Isis Publishing Ltd

What the critics say

"Absorbing and richly satisfying." ( The Times)
Boyne's novel... is a work that chimes perfectly with our times. ( Irish Times)

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  • Kathy-Jane
  • 2019-05-19

It's A Love Story

I found it hard to know what to say about this book. It was not at all what I expected. At some points the story dragged and then it became predictable about 2/3 in. I get pretty annoyed when a story's ending or secret is realized before it ends; I tend to stop listening. But this story did hold me and towards the end I couldn't stop listening. I thought of the book long after it was finished.

The book is beautifully written and an amazing story based on a real tragedy. I do very much like this author.