The House of Special Purpose

Publisher: Anchor Canada
Part love story, part historical epic, part tragedy, The House of Special Purpose illuminates an empire at the end of its reign.

Eighty year old Georgy Jachmenev is haunted by his past - a past of death, suffering and scandal that will stay with him until the end of his days. Living in England with his beloved wife Zoya, Georgy prepares to make one final journey back to the Russia he once knew and loved, the Russia that both destroyed and defined him.

As Georgy remembers days gone by, we are transported to St. Petersburg in the early 20th century, to the Winter Palace of the Tsar. A time of change, threat and bloody revolution.

And as Georgy overturns the most painful stone of all, we uncover the story of the house of special purpose.

From the Hardcover edition.


MY MOTHER AND FATHER did not have a happy marriage.
Years have passed since I last endured their company, decades, but they pass through my thoughts almost every day for a few moments, no longer than that. A whisper of memory, as light as Zoya’s breath upon my neck as she sleeps...
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"John Boyne brings a completely fresh eye to the most important stories. He is prepared to look at the dark, yet somehow manages to find whatever light was there in the first place. He guides us through the realm of history and makes the journey substantial, poignant, real. He is one of the great craftsmen in contemporary literature."
— Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin

"A work that chimes perfectly with our times."
— The Irish Times

From the Hardcover edition.