I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon – Book Review

I Was Anastasia

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

 

 

This was the last book of my summer reading challenge, and I’m so happy I achieved my summer reading goal this year!! woo hoo! I read a lot of interesting books this summer and I think overall, it was a good summer of reading πŸ™‚ If you want to see the books (with links to their reviews) I read this summer, then you can check those out here.

Now coming to the book, the story is a fictional account of one of the great identity mysteries of the 19th Century- whether the Duchess Anastasia Romanov survived her family’s gruesome massacre in 1918, and whether Anna Anderson is who she claims to be. Two different stories, two timelines, two women- or are they the same woman? This story is the author’s version of what might have been. Of course if you search on the internet, or if you have read about the Romanov family or the Bolshevik revolution (which I hadn’t read about before this book by the way), you will know the mystery has been solved now.

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So although for me, the mystery was as important as the rest of the story, if you are aware of the details of Anastasia and Anna, then maybe this book will not be that interesting. I don’t know. If you read closely enough, you will figure out the reality or the direction of the book about half way into it. There are a lot of prominent historical moments that Anna Anderson gets involved in, like her meeting with Ingrid Bergman and Adolf Hitler! Because I haven’t read the actual story of Anna Anderson, I wasn’t sure which parts were real and which were fictional from Anna’s story. But imagine, living your whole life, or most of it, trying to convince the world of your identity and making that your life’s mission, how tiring it must be!

Anyway, I liked the way the author wrote her story, I usually like reading stories in multiple timelines and the author was very inventive in the way she portrayed the timelines, going back in time.

But I couldn’t feel much for any of the characters. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Anna Anderson, she seemed strange and cold and distant most of the times- maybe that was the author’s idea in the first place. I thought Anastasia’s characterisation was slightly better and some of the things that we learn about the treatment of the royal family chilled me to the bones. This is something I cannot understand about people. The Bolsheviks had their revolution to bring an end to the Tsar’s tyranny and yet they were the same who tortured these innocent women and children in the family, when they were captured. Which is why all these nationalist movements don’t make sense to me- especially if they are embedded in violence.

It was a fast read, but not one that I highly enjoyed πŸ™‚

Have you guys read this book or anything else on the Romanov family? Do you believe Anastasia had somehow survived that night?

How has your summer reading been like? Would love to see a summer reading wrap up from my fellow readers πŸ™‚ For fall, I don’t think I’m going to make a list, like I did for summer, but I might just do a monthly reading wrap up blog at the end of each month πŸ™‚

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