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Publisher's Summary

Ileana, Princess of Romania and Archduchess of Austria who in later life became Mother Alexandra, founder of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Pennsylvania wrote this memoir shortly after relocating to the US in the 1950s. 

It tells the story of a life full of suffering, tragedy, and exile, but all is suffused with the author's deep faith, hope, love, and even joy. 

This edition includes additional material collected by the nuns of her monastery that sets the memoir in the context of Mother Alexandra's later life.

©2018 Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration (P)2018 Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration

What listeners say about I Live Again

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  • Overall
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Lovely Story, Poor Narration

I enjoy anything written by Mother Alexandra, and this is no exception. But unfortunately, the narrator made it hard to get through. It seemed like the book was being read to a preschool class, and not meant for adult material.

5 people found this helpful

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A Saintly Princess

“It is necessary to confront life for life loves the brave” (I Live Again, a Memoir of Ileana)

At one point in the book, Princess Ileana spoke those words and they could not be a truer description of who she was and what her life was. I myself listened to this book while I drove and to be honest, I found myself laughing, smiling and often times shedding a tear. It was as if she sat next to me pouring out her heart and the joys and difficulties of a life of war. Her words, I found very dear to my heart since I know what a life of a refugee is like and what a life during a war brings to a nation. Throughout the chapters, Princess Ileana became a sister, friend, and a mother to me. Her bravery, her love, and her example as an Orthodox woman amazed me with each chapter. She was a princess with a crown, but not with a modern understanding of what a princess should be. She was a princess with a crown of faith and love. The book illustrates how much she gave and learned for her people and to help those in need. Her duty to her nation is showcased in the book as she fights for her family, her nation and her people during WWII and before she left her Romania. She is a true image of what an Orthodox woman should be, and every young girl and woman should read the words of this saintly princess who spent her life giving and giving. The book also gives a historical count of what was happening in Romania and in Europe during WWII and what war truly does to humanity. But regardless of how much evil there is and all the chaos it creates, Princess Ileana shows that everything will resurrect and truly live again.

4 people found this helpful

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The pages torn from the history of Romania

I am one of the first generation immigrants who left Romania after the fall of communism and only with time and distance managed to see through the haze of my childhood in communist schools and post communist social democrat propaganda. I am so grateful for this book and story and even bishop’s Nathanael postscript. These are the pages I wish I could have read much earlier, like the pages of the communist prisoners - and may I be worthy of putting them to good use as a Romanian American in this new brave free world. Carry on wherever you may be.

2 people found this helpful

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An appeal for help, an autobiographical account

The story is one of Love, devotion and fight against evil under it's Communist manifestation. Princess Ileana of Romania, later mother Alexandra, writes a beautiful account of her service to her country, her people and her family. She also makes a plea with her book for anyone willing to read her story to help stop the totalitarian communist regime engulfing her country.

The naration was overall done well with only the issue that one who speaks the language (Romanian) may have, in hearing names of places or of people being mispronounced. I wish the narrator had taken more time to learn the proper way to read and announciate those words.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Story

I love this memoir, but it was difficult to enjoy and get through as the narration was very distracting. If I had the time I would much prefer to sit and read the book rather than the audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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Only the first part of her tale

What does New England, and more specifically, Massachusetts, have in common with Romania? They were both considered “home” to Grand Duchess Ileana, Princess of Romania. The autobiography, I Live Again, highlights that while the author had many homes, she had but one earthly homeland.
I listened to this book in its entirety, marveling at the way the story flowed, much like a conversation with a beloved friend. The author was vividly descriptive, allowing visitors (readers and listeners) to visualize exactly what was depicted, whether that was sitting in the kitchen, participating in care for the wounded at a clinic, or standing near a giant Christmas tree. The author wove her tale in a way that engaged my imagination for the past while making me forget that it *was* the past.

This book is an excellent one if you are looking to learn more of Romania, or to know more of the history of the wars and how it affected everyday people. The Grand Duchess, the Princess, WAS truly an “everyday” person. She did not shy away from hard work or from the horrors of wartime care for the wounded. She shared the plight of those who had no good choices and witness decisions made in hope but ending in disappointment. 
 
I do not normally enjoy listening to books read by women, but the narrator’s voice became the voice of Ileana for me. Whether that was the power of the way that Ileana wrote, or whether it was the narrator herself, or the combination, I cannot say, but I forgot after a while that I was not listening to the author herself. I felt she became a friend, because of all she shared.

My only complaint, if I had one, was that this story was not a complete tale - it ended at the beginning of the next part of her life - the time spent in America and all that she was able to do and accomplish here. I wanted more, but will need to read another book to get it.

1 person found this helpful

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Everyone should read or listen to this book!

This is a heart wrenching story of a real Princess struggling to serve her people.

1 person found this helpful

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Proverbs 31...

As I listened to this audiobook, my mind kept returning to one thought... Princess Ileana, during the time of the war, exemplified the Proverbs 31 woman:
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
This book is not about her monastic life or the establishment of the monastery. This book is a journal of the events of Princess Ileana's life during a very specific time period- her life during WWII and after- leading up to her family leaving Romania. How she "lives again" as she transitions from being a princess of Romania to the Archduchess of Austria to the time of WWII, and, finally, to when she is forced with her family to leave her country.
Princess Ileana was not idle- her ability to learn nursing, build hospitals, give to the poor, and convince communist officials to support her endeavors were inspiring.
As I finished this audiobook, I was inspired by her untiring example of giving to others and helping her fellow man. And, her adventures, which she writes about very matter of fact (almost as if she believes that anyone else would have done the same thing which shows her true humility). I am eager to learn more about how Princess Ileana became Mother Alexandra of blessed memory, how she "lives again" in monasticism.
Technically, this audiobook is very well done. The quality of the recording is amazing. The narrator, Kristina Wenger, does an excellent job- I almost believed it was the voice of Princess Ileana herself!
The one downside to the audiobook is that the published book does contain illustrations and photos of Princess Ileana and her family. But, that is the downside to audiobooks, especially autobiographical books, is that there is not a way to convey the photos or artwork. We happen to own a copy of the book and I was able to look through the photos/illustrations (but I waited until after I finished listening to the book in order to write a review of the audiobook).
I was gifted a copy of this audiobook for an honest review. Purchase your own copy of the audiobook through Audible.com.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating memoir of a fascinating woman

This book is so good I started listening to it again. This is a fascinating memoir of an extraordinary woman's life that spanned World War 1 and World War 2 in Romania. I actually wanted it to continue into her life in the United States after she was exiled from her own country. The narration was superb.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent book....just get through the intros.

I seriously thought about stopping this book since the first several minutes was religiously focused (not a bad thing, just not what I was expecting nor wanted to read) but am very glad I kept going. Don't be fooled. This is a funny, insightful, and educational book. I learned an entirely different perspective on the history I was taught. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested history, authenticity and the triump of the human spirit.

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