July 17, 1918—from the writings of Marie Nicolaevna Romanovna, age 19. Midnight, in bed with her sister, Anastasia (Shvybz), in the Ipatiev Mansion in Ekaterinburg, during the last night of their lives. So much of my story unfolds by moonlight. This is a tale of midnight waking’s and forced marches before dawn. Since this nightmare began, I do not dare undress, even to go to bed. I wear my dressing gown, my hair is prepared, and my shoes are set beside me. I have no idea when we will be summoned to rise. We have moved, as in the worst of dreams, slowly toward this place. There is no logic other than the sleepwalker’s obedience—to follow instruction, which we cannot resist: an actual lunacy. Now, I have control only of this—my record of what happened to us, to me. I have committed a single sin, my one terrible transgression. I pray to be absolved. In this recording of memory lies all meaning to my life. Let my will prevail in this, my ultimate wish, to salvage something of value from this tragedy. The rest, as my mother says, is in God’s hands. When I look back, as I must in the short time allotted to me now, I can see the exact moment when our lives changed: at last light, on the thirteenth of March, 1917. The Passion of Marie Romanov is based on original diaries and letters and told from the point of view of the third Romanov daughter, Marie, Anastasia's closest, older sister. In startling new historical detail, Marie's story is unique. Marie is the only one who crossed the frozen Siberian river with her parents and only Marie shared her full 78 days and nights in The House of Special Purpose.