Friends of the Tsar

Miracles from Petrograd to the Outback

Non-Fiction - Inspirational
172 Pages
Reviewed on 06/10/2019
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Author Biography

Born in Brisbane in 1949, I studied signwriting, pictorial, and screenprocessing before joining the army for six years in 1969. I pursued camping, fishing, and four wheel driving while working at my signwriting business in Sydney with my then wife to whom I had four children. I took an interest in the spiritual side and then decided to share my many miracles with the world through writing. All the miracles that I speak of in my book are so profound in that they are logic defying. One miracle in particular helped save my daughter's life. One night while watching chanel 7 news, I remembered a demonstration on what to do when someone was choking on something. The very next day my daughter was choking on a lolly. Her mother was frantic as she didn't know what to do, but I calmly applied the procedure on her and cleared the blockage with one quick thrust of the palm of my hand into her stomach.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite

Friends of the Tsar: Miracles from Petrograd to the Outback – a collection of short stories by Jon de Graaff - is built upon a great premise. Ancestral stories related by the Australian descendant of an old Russian family once close friends of the Tsar. The storyteller is said to be a man with personal experience regarding the events and places mentioned herein, and of intense historical interest to many. The stories themselves are told with great vividness, momentum, and presence, and they all are based on quite compelling plots. They are raw and down to earth, conveying a most accurate sense of family and of country life, as well as the sudden, dangerous turns that life can take. The powerful interest of the stories does tend to keep the reader enthralled.

In Friends of the Tsar by Jon de Graaff, a general theme emerges of rather miraculous escapes from impending danger and possible death. In the first story, Lovesick Vera Saved from Wolf Attack, Russia (1916), this theme arises as the main character, a young woman, heads to the barn to feed some goats, forgetting on the way to carry a required gun, and she is suddenly surprised by hungry wolves. Other stories revolve around the events of pre-revolutionary Russia, the Russian Revolution of 1917, events of WWI, and also anecdotes told by the family’s Australian friend, Blue. All of the stories in this collection center on the ancestral family’s tales, and together they provide a contemporary view of history in the making.

Andrew Stacey

What a ripping yarn! A master of dialogue, de Graaf writes with the same courage and humour as he lives. Rich with the details of personal experience, Friends of the Tsar takes us on an unlikely andI entertaining journey back in time and culture.