The House of Special Purpose

By John Boyne,

Book cover of The House of Special Purpose

Book description

In Russia during the year 1915, at the age of 16, Georgy Jachmenev steps in front of an assassin's bullet intended for the heart of a senior member of the Russian Imperial Family. He is instantly proclaimed a hero. Before the week is out, his life as the son of…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The House of Special Purpose as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book moved me. This book expertly tells a single story but from each end. One timeline travels back from 1981, as Georgy watches over his dying wife, Zoya. The poignancy of these two old people, still in love, still themselves spoke to me. The other timeline follows him from early childhood through Romanov Russia, as nine-year-old Georgy saves the life of the tsar’s cousin. The relationship grows between the main characters, told back and forth, revealing layers of connection and history between them. The two strands end at the shocking revelation of the ‘special purpose.’ I enjoyed the mystery…

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