Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Guest Review: Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap

Today we have a guest review from my fab sis-in-law ,Jen, of Jen's Corner blog. So without further ado, take it away Jen!

Anastasia's Secret tells the story of how a chance meeting can change a life forever. Anastasia meets Sasha in her palace garden and they quickly form a bond. They fall in love as Russia goes to war. When Sasha is among those sent to fight Anastasia is forced to see the world as she had never seen it before. As time goes by, Sasha becomes her only link to the world beyond hers. Through him, Anastasia has to face the realities of being the daughter of an unwanted Tsar. As the years pass life for Anastasia and her family ceases to exist as it once did. Sasha becomes the one thing, beyond her family, that she clings to. Can he save her and her family from an unthinkable fate?

I loved this book! From the first page to the last I was glued. I didn't want the story to end, but I wanted to see how it turned out. Susanne Dunlap did a phenomenal job of depicting the family as they really were, not as they were perceived to be. She made the blending of history and imagination appear seamless and easy. She gave you enough details to paint the picture she wanted you to see, but didn't overwhelm you with them.

The amount of research that went into this book shines throughout it. Susanne was meticulously accurate with everything from clothes characters worn, to games the family played, to depicting the lives of Russian soldiers. She included the roles the daughters and their mother played in the palace hospitals that they set up including which of them did what job. She even used the nicknames the family had for each other.

Susanne did an amazing job at bringing the characters I've heard of to life and making them human. Anastasia's family was always viewed as cold and insensitive to the plight of the Russians they ruled over. In Anastasia's Secret you see for yourself how far from the truth that theory was. As Anastasia herself did, I questioned whether Sasha was the ultimate hero trying to save the day or the devil in disguise. His character played both roles very well.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Susanne Dunlap wrote a touching and moving love story that couldn't help but get drawn into. Having spent several years researching this family myself I thoroughly enjoyed reading all that I learned, both good and bad, come to life. It was a privilege to read this book and it's one I'll read more than once, I have no doubt.

Rating: Buy it!!!

Thanks for joining us Jen! This book sounds like a great read.


Wendy said...

Awesome review, Jen! I really enjoyed this story, too. :)

Jen said...

thank you Wendy! It was a great book. Hope all is well with you!

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

Great review! I love books set in Russia-I'm going to have to put this one my list of books to read!

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