Book Review : Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap

Anastasia's Secret 
Available on The Book Depository

For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia's last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family's future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?

Anastasia's Secret is a book that adheres to the history with precision (besides Anastasia's budding romance with a barrack soldier named Sasha), but sadly I don't see much imagination and creativity. The familial ties were quite touching, though. They stayed together until the end even though they knew it may mean imminent death. There was little appearance of the mysterious "holy man" called Rasputin, and the author dismissed him easily by proceeding quickly to his death. 

I had hoped the author would take a more daring approach to the storytelling rather than sticking to the safe zone. As the fate of the Grand Duchess Anastasia is still a mystery, I would appreciate it if Susanne Dunlap had injected a portion of her wild imagination and ended the story with a twist.

I would say that Anastasia's Secret is rather well-written, but there is still much room for improvement. And a kind note of reminder, the summary at the back cover of the book should only describe happenings within 50 pages of the novel. You never want to give too much away - always keep your best card until the end.

 Rating: 3

About The Author
Susanne Dunlap
Susanne Dunlap is the author of six works of historical fiction. Two are for the adult market (Emilie's Voice and Liszt's Kiss, both published by Touchstone books of Simon & Schuster). Three are for the young adult market (The Musician's Daughter, Anastasia's Secret, In the Shadow of the Lamp, and the forthcoming The Academie, published by Bloomsbury). A graduate of Smith College with a PhD in Music History from Yale University, Susanne grew up in Buffalo, New York and has lived in London, New York and Northampton, MA. She now divides her time between Brooklyn and Northampton, has two grown daughters, two granddaughters, and is an avid cyclist and dog lover.

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