The Kitchen Boy
On the night of July 16, 1918, Empress Aleksandra recorded in her journal that the Romanovs’ kitchen boy, Leonka Sednyov, was mysteriously sent away. In the early hours of the following morning, she, her family, and all other members of the Romanov household were brutally murdered in the basement of the Ipatiev House in the Siberian town of Ekaterinburg. That much is history. In this believable page-turner, Alexander imagines that Leonka had returned to witness that fateful event, later escaping to America and living out his days under a new name in a Chicago apartment. He recreates the last days of the Imperial family with sympathy, portraying Nikolai and Aleksandra as the loving parents of a close family, bravely holding their own in the most adverse of circumstances. In them and their servants, he gives life to the Russian concepts of faith, suffering, and loyalty, even to the point of death. Of the Imperial family, several questions still remain. What happened to the lost Romanov jewels? Why were the bodies of two of the children never found? In Alexander’s suspenseful recreation of what might have been, these and more are answered, and with a surprising twist at the end. It takes skill to bring something new and touching to this familiar story, yet in The Kitchen Boy the author has managed to do just that.