Saturday, June 20, 2015

Russian History Again

I grew up in the aftermath of the Anna Anderson conspiracy, if you will. I watched Anastasia when I was younger, and read some children's historical fiction about her. I even took a Russian history course in college, I was that interested in the story. So when The Secret Daughter of the Tsar popped up on my radar, I naturally was interested.
Anna Anderson and Grand Duchess Anastasia, from website linked above. 

This fiction novel by Jennifer Laam follows the lives of three women during three very different eras. Lena, Charlotte, and Veronica are all connected to the supposed fifth daughter of Tsar Nicolaus II and Alexandra. I thoroughly enjoyed the tale that Laam wove so carefully, staying up late at last one night to keep reading. Fiction has not ben doing it for me lately, so this was a lovely change. Having read up on the Romanovs quite a bit myself, I caught on to some of the connections early on. However, there was still a surprise at the end.

I really connected with the three main characters on different levels-- Charlotte, who wanted to protect her son; Lena, who simply wanted a better life; and Veronica, a struggling history professor, hoping to get tenure and have her book published.

I would definitely recommend this book, as it was griping and relatively accurate where it needed to be. It has been really hard for me to find a good historical fiction book that doesn't have at least one scene of either brutal violence or descriptive sex (or a combination) and this book avoided both of those (for the most part). I believe if a story is compelling enough, it really doesn't need either of those things to further the plot.

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