Title: I Was Anastasia
Author: Ariel Lawhon
Genre: historical fiction
Is this part of a series? No.
Publish date: March 27th, 2018
Summary (from Goodreads)
Countless others have rendered their verdict. Now it is your turn.
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.
Is she the last Romanov? A confused, mentally ill woman? An impostor? This is for us to decide as she tells her story. I loved the way our narrator presents herself. I was charmed by her, worried for her; I felt all her pain. At the same time I felt every happy memory. This is a book of emotions, memory… a step back in time. It isn’t kind, and it isn’t neat, her life wasn’t. The character development was amazing, and the world building was perfect.
I will admit that there were times where it was hard for me to keep track of timelines. The flow of the book is extremely choppy, like a woman skipping down memory lane. There were times where I had to stop and ask myself if this or that had happened at the point in time I was visiting at the moment. This took me out of the book several times, which was upsetting. There were also several times where the book moved slowly, and I had to fight through it. For all of that, this is still a four star book for me.
On the adult content scale, there is a high level of violence and language. Trigger warning- there is talk of rape. I would definitely say that this is an adult novel. I give it a seven.
I was lucky enough to receive an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Doubleday Books in exchange for an honest review. My thanks!
The book comes out 3-27-18, be ready!
Link to the book: