“Royal Monastic: Princess Ileana of Romania” (The Story of Mother Alexandra) by Bev. Cooke
The twentieth century saw the end of many monarchies and two of the most brutal wars in recent human history. Bev Cooke’s Royal Monastic: Princess Ileana of Romania is a non-fiction book telling the story of a little-known great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria who started her life as a princess in Eastern Europe and who ended it as the abbess Mother Alexandra in the eastern United States, surviving two world wars in her home country and facing hardship and persecution. Young female readers who have read The Diary of Anne Frank and other WWII literature, or who have grown up on the Royal Diaries or Dear Canada series will enjoy this book, as will adult readers who are interested in learning further about an often-overlooked aspect of early twentieth-century European history. As this book follows Princess Ileana’s life from her childhood at court until her later years at her monastery, readers learn about a remarkable woman who provides a positive role model for young women as well as older women who are facing adversity or who are unsure about finding their place in life. It also provides an alternative to Dracula in literature about Romanian history. This book is not a difficult read, well-written, and provides excellent resources for further reading on the subject of Princess Ileana and of Romanian history. Highly recommended for ages 12 and up, female readers in particular. Published 2008 by Conciliar Press, 200p. Pbk. $15.95.