Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
March 2, 2010
The youngest grand duchess in the Russian imperial family comes of age during the revolution. Her family is imprisoned, conditions become worse and worse.
But Anastasia has a secret that she keeps from her family, a love that endures through the horrors of war and the privation of imprisonment and deprivation.
Will her love save her from the fate her family seems destined for? Or is she a creation of a rarefied atmosphere, unable to survive without her loved ones?
As most of you know by now, I'm normally not a reader of historical fiction but when I first heard about Anastasia's Secret, it sounded like such a lovely story that I couldn't pass it up. It's a story about a girl coming of age and finding love in the most difficult times. Anastasia's the Russian's Tsar's youngest daughter and she has grown up in privilege with the best of everything around her so when she meets Sasha, a soldier, who doesn't treat her like royalty, to her, this is a wonderful thing. Anastasia's character was a surprise to me, I thought she was going to be a spoiled little princess but she's surprisingly down to Earth and knows what's going on around her.
The plot is in no way fast-paced but Dunlap's writing is so fresh and the interaction between Sasha and Anastasia's so intriguing that the slow pace doesn't subtract much from the story. Something that I really liked was the details, Dunlap practically transports the reader to that Russian era in her descriptions. Admittedly, I was a bit confused on the names, Dunlap has a list of the characters at the beginning but having to go to the list to know who they were talking about soon got real old. Fortunately, as the story progresses, it's easier to remember all the names and such.
Anastasia's Secret is a tragic tale of war and love. Dunlap keeps her story pretty close to what happened to the Romanov family in real life - as far as I know, anyway - and while I can appreciate her trying to keep the originality, I sort of wish she would have gone with a different, happier ending.
Lush Rating: 3!