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Friday, January 14, 2011

Review : Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap

Title : Anastasia's Secret
Author : Susanne Dunlap
Publisher : Bloomsbury USA Children's Books

Genre : Historical Fiction
ISBN : 978-1599904207
Series or Stand Alone : Stand Alone
Release Date : March 2, 2010
Rating : 4.5/5 Stars - Very Good

Description from Goodreads :

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?

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 imagined love story—of Russia’s last princess.


The story of Anastasia Romanov has always been a huge interest for me.  At a young age I was introduced to the animated presentation of Anastasia from 20th Century Fox, and I fell in love.  Even to this day, it is one of my favorite movies to watch.  For the longest time I thought that was exactly how Anastasia's life had been, and then I grew up and learned the horrible truth of the things her family had to endure.  While no one is completely sure if Anastasia had gotten away or not, I like to think that she did, and that she had a wonderful life ahead of her.
Susanne Dunlap brought Anastasia to life once again for me.  Although her take on the story of the beloved Russian Princess is quite different, it is also one that you should most definitely take the time to learn.  I felt like Susanne really knew first-hand about Anastasia, and she made her character very believable.  I could have finished this book within a day if my internal clock were the way it used to be.  Being 6 months pregnant, I tend to take a nap here and there, although most of the time I don't even realize I'm about to do it.

I really like how we learned a little about each character in this story, and their role, even if they weren't a big part of the scheme.  My personal favorite was Anastasia's older sister, Maria, because despite her timidness she was always there for Anastasia, and ready to back her up if need be.

The romance between Anastasia and Sasha was a little confusing to me for a short time throughout this book.  I'm sure that's how we were supposed to feel though, because we read from Anastasia's point-of-view, and she herself is quite confused in the beginning as well.  I enjoyed Sasha's character through the beginning of the book, but as it wore on, and the war wore on him, he became too hard for me.  I didn't always trust him throughout the book, and at times I felt like I was in the same boat as Anastasia's young brother Alexei, always waiting for Sasha to mess up and show his true colors.

I waited far too long to read this book, and am quite upset with myself for not taking the time to give it the attention that it clearly deserves.  I had received this book well before the release date, and had all intentions of reading and reviewing it early, but unfortunately life took me for it's own personal spin and I was pulled away from reading anything.  I'm glad that I finally was given a chance to come back to reading, and reviewing, because it has been something that I've missed for so long.  I'm also glad that on my return I happened to pick up a fantastic read that I will remember for a long time. 

Where did I get this book? :

I received my copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.  Thank you Susanne, it was a pleasure reading your book, and I plan to read more of your work in the future.

Amazon Affiliates

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Unknown said...

Interesting subject matter, sounds like a great book!

Nice review! =D

Jenni @ Falling Off The Shelf said...

I have a sweet spot for historicals, lol. Glad you could stop by!