Book review: The Tsarinas Daughter and The House of Kwa

Author
Catherine Raynes,
Publish Date
Sat, 24 Jul 2021, 2:58PM
(Photo / Getty)
(Photo / Getty)

Book review: The Tsarinas Daughter and The House of Kwa

Author
Catherine Raynes,
Publish Date
Sat, 24 Jul 2021, 2:58PM

The Tsarinas Daughter, Ellen Alpsten  

Born into the House of Romanov to the all-powerful Peter the Great and Catherine I, beautiful Tsarevna Elizabeth is the world's loveliest Princess and the envy of the Russian empire. Insulated by luxury and as a woman free from the burden of statecraft, Elizabeth is seemingly born to pursue her passions. 
 
However, a dark prophecy predicts her fate as inexorably twined with Russia. When her mother dies, Russia is torn, masks fall, and friends become foes. Elizabeth's idyllic world is upended. By her twenties she is penniless and powerless, living under constant threat. As times change like quicksand, an all-consuming passion emboldens Elizabeth: she must decide whether to take up her role as Russia's ruler, and what she's willing to do for her country – and for love. 

The House of Kwa, Mimi Kwa 
 
Mimi Kwa ignored the letter for days. When she finally opened it, the news was so shocking her hair turned grey. Why would a father sue his own daughter? 

The collision was over the estate of Mimi's beloved Aunt Theresa, but its seed had been sown long ago. In an attempt to understand how it had come to this, Mimi unspools her rich family history in House of Kwa

One of a wealthy silk merchant's 32 children, Mimi's father, Francis, was just a little boy when the Kwa family became caught up in the brutal and devastating Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. Years later, he was sent to study in Australia by his now independent and successful older sister Theresa. There he met and married Mimi's mother, a nineteen-year-old with an undiagnosed, chronic mental illness. Soon after, 'tiger' Mimi arrived, and her struggle with the past - and the dragon - began ... 

Riveting, colourful and often darkly humorous, House of Kwa is an epic family drama spanning four generations, and an unforgettable story about how one woman finds the courage to stand up for her freedom and independence, squaring off against the ghosts of the past and finally putting them to rest. Throughout, her inspiration is Francis's late older sister, the jet-setting, free-spirited Aunt Theresa, whose extraordinary life is a beacon of hope in the darkness.