I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

Book Stats:
I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
Published: March 27th, 2018
Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 9780385541695
Buy it:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Book Cover Image of Ariel Lawhon's historical fiction novel titled I Was Anastasia. The image features a woman whose face is obscured by a hat in clothing from another decade perched delicately on top of a suitcase.

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon is the story of two women and a shared life. Anastasia Romanov’s life story and tragic end have been well documented, including all of the speculation about whether she was murdered with the rest of her family following the Bolshevik Revolution. Anna Anderson’s life story has also been well-documented, and this story might be a little bit of a letdown in terms of suspension of disbelief if you are familiar with the facts of both women’s lives. My knowledge was limited in this case, which made this historical novel extremely enjoyable.

You meet the narrator on the very first page, and she issues a warning to any reader that they may not like what lies ahead. On the whole, she comes off sounding like an old woman who has told this story many times, so settle in and do not interrupt. From there, the story is told from Anastasia Romanov’s early teens until the night her family is murdered, alternating chapters with Anna Anderson’s life as it regresses to the moment she becomes Anna Anderson.

This is historical fiction in the truest sense. Lawhon adds just enough romance to provide depth without watering down a fascinating life. Moments in the story will make your heart race and other times will shatter it as you feel the frustrations and terror of a family held captive and a young woman whose life seems to do nothing but unravel. If you’re looking for a happy ending, this title is not the one for you. If you love an intricately told story that features a couple of extremely spunky women then I Was Anastasia is a jackpot. It’s only been out for about a month at this point, but this novel has been mentioned on multiple review sites and blogs. In my opinion, if it’s not already on your TBR list, it should be.

lemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_iconlemonade_icon4 glasses of lemonade= a book you could recommend to a book group or anybody who reads.  You might find controversial subject matter, but it is handled delicately.

************Spoilers below****************

This book would have been a 5 glasses of lemonade, recommend to anyone, rating except for two things:

  1. There are about a dozen curse words sprinkled throughout.  While cursing does not bother me, I know some people would rather not have it as part of their reading experience.
  2. There is a scene involving multiple rapes.  While it is not incredibly graphic, it’s there.

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