Review of I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
Thank you to Doubleday Books for generously supplying me with a free review copy of I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The Romanov Family has long since fascinated the world. A royal family removed from the throne, forced to become prisoners, and then executed. And then the most notorious part of the whole story was if Princess Anastasia survived the mass killing of her family. And if Anastasia did survive which one of the many women making the claim that she was the real Anastasia was actually her? It all sounds like a blockbuster movie, which it actually was several times over. Ariel Lawhon forges ahead in I Was Anastasia attempting to figure out the mystery of who really was the true Anastasia.
"A young woman bearing an uneasy resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal. 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."
I love any stories centered around royal families because it is so outside of my normal realm of life and because of that it completely facinates me. Going into this book I was very unfamiliar with the Romonav family so some of the history in the book did go above my head. Because of this fact I now want to know everything about the Romanov family. I Was Anastasia peaked my interest about a time in history that I am not familiar with at all. The only issue I had with this book was the writing structure. I love a story that begins at the end and works its way backward, but this book went back and forth in time A LOT. It left me disoriented a times and made the book move along in a disjointed way to me. It took at least a quarter of the book for me to get oriented with the writing style, characters, and storyline to actually begin enjoying it. Once I finally got a handle on the writing style I became completely absorbed in the story. After I finished reading the book I was left wishing I had someone in the room with me so we could discuss it ASAP. Lawhon definitely has a good handle on the historical suspense genre. I have read all of her previous work and I think each of her books has the ability to absorb you completely in her storytelling and writing style.
"Laughter in the face of fear is no small accomplishment." - Page 23
If you are a fan of Susan Meissner's writing then you will enjoy reading all of Ariel Lawhon's work.
For anyone interested in learning more about the Romonav family here are the books I requested from the library to learn more.
I Was Anastasia
Flight of Dreams
The Wife, The Maid, and the Mistress