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. With a brilliantly crafted dual narrative structure, Lawhon wades into the most psychologically complex and emotionally compelling territory yet: the nature of identity itself.
The question of who Anna Anderson is and what actually happened to Anastasia Romanov creates a saga that spans fifty years and touches three continents. This thrilling story is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted.
My Thoughts:As far as my experience with Ms. Lawhon goes, she is great with historical fiction. She can take an interesting thread from history and turn it into this carefully woven, beautiful story that you won't want to put down. This is definitely true of I Was Anastasia.
One of the most amazing things she does is weaves two stories together in this crazy way but rarely are you ever lost or confused. In this book you have two stories, Anna's and Anastasia's. Anna's story is told in reverse while Anastasia's is toward going forward so that the stories run parallel until they crash into each other at the exact same moment in the past.
There were a few times in this story that I skimmed because it was just too much info that seemed unnecessary but overall, I was totally invested in Anna's journey. Is Anna Anastasia? Read and find out! 4/5 stars
"But most of all she hates giving statements to the press. They always want to know how she feels, and she always wants to poke them in the eye with a freshly sharpened pencil."
"You seem to have the misguided notion that the natural response to imprisonment is gratitude."
"This is how the human heart beats, a twisted staccato of love and envy, of anger and relief."