Author: Ariel Lawhon
Published: March 28, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Russia, July 17, 1918
Under direct orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik secret police force Anastasia Romanov, along with the entire imperial family, into a damp basement in Siberia where they face a merciless firing squad. None survive. At least that is what the executioners have always claimed.
Germany, February 17, 1920
A young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal in Berlin. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water, she is taken to the hospital where an examination reveals that her body is riddled with countless, horrific scars. When she finally does speak, this frightened, mysterious woman claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia.
Her detractors, convinced that the young woman is only after the immense Romanov fortune, insist on calling her by a different name: Anna Anderson.
As rumors begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre, old enemies and new threats are awakened. With a brilliantly crafted dual narrative structure, Lawhon wades into the most psychologically complex and emotionally compelling territory yet: the nature of identity itself.
The question of who Anna Anderson is and what actually happened to Anastasia Romanov creates a saga that spans fifty years and touches three continents. This thrilling story is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted.
This not being able to say anything in my reviews is exhausting! I’m starting to think I’m not such a good reviewer. I want to get into all the details and all the thoughts that were rushing through my head while reading this book . . . But if I do, then I’ll give stuff away! And I’m not here to ruin books for y’all! Ok, I’ll try. The character of Anna Anderson was spot on, from all I’ve read about her. I take back every critical thought I had about Lawhon and her historical research while reading this book. The timeline within the writing was a little confusing, since it went backwards, but by the end, I understood why Lawhon went with it. The cover is fabulous and I love it. I really liked the look into the journey of the Romanovs once they started heading east. I also enjoyed the legalities of trying to prove Anna’s identity as Anastasia. And that’s all I can say!! I really liked this book and I absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for some good historical fiction. It captured the mystery of the Romanovs’ deaths and burials so perfectly and its a great read for anyone, like myself, who is fascinated by the Romanovs’ story.