By: Susanne Dunlap
Received from Around the World Tours
For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia’s last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family’s future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?
Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Inspired by the mysteries that have long surrounded the last days of the Romanov family, Susanne Dunlap’s new novel is a haunting vision of the life—and love story—of Russia’s last princess.
The fate of Anastasia Romanov is one that many writers and filmmakers have taken many liberties with. My dad asked for a book about the Romanov's a few years back after reading a news story that documented DNA testing done by scientists on a grave near where the Romanov family was executed. It was found to be Anastasia. I guess that took a little of the mystery out of the story for me, but I still enjoy reading stories about this family and the history behind the Russian Revolution and its eventual control by the Bolshevics.
There were many things I liked about this book. It was extremely informative. It was clear that Dunlap had done a lot of research into the Romanov family and the circumstances behind their assassination. The details of their personalities and relationships with each other and their servants were meticulous and made me care very much about their family.
I really loved the mentions of Rasputin and wished he had been a larger player in the book. There were several passages in the book relating to him that made me shudder. In fact, most of the writing in the book was very beautiful.
However, the spark just wasn't there for me with this book. As I said, I felt the book was informative, but not entertaining. It read more like a non-fiction biography than a work of fiction. Anastasia and Sasha's relationship felt lukewarm to me. It wasn't convincing enough for me to care much about it. There were long passages where not much happened in the book. I ended up skimming some of the beautifully written, but frankly kind of dull passages.
I appreciate what Dunlap was trying to do with this book. It's clear that she has a wonderful talent for writing, and I would have liked to see her take a few more creative liberties with the story. By the end of the book I felt like I had learned a lot about the Romanov's, but little beyond the facts found in a history book.
However, if you enjoy your historical fiction on the dry side, Anastasia's Secret is for you. I'm sure many will be captivated by its beautiful writing and heartbreaking story. It just wasn't for me.
Book-A-Likes: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Drugs and Alcohol: Mild