Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap (Published by Bloomsbury, March 2, 2010)
As the youngest daughter of the last Tsar of Russia, Anastasia had a very sheltered and isolated childhood. So when at twelve years old she meets Sasha, a young soldier, in the garden of her palace, she is intrigued - he is very different than anyone she is permitted to be friends with. But soon he must leave to fight in World War I. Anastasia is later reunited with him while helping to care for the wounded soldiers, and now that she is fourteen, hopes he will see her as a young woman, and not a child.
But everything in Anastasia’s world is about to change forever. In the aftermath of a costly war, the people of Russia are increasingly angry with their ruler. She must grow into a young woman as everything around her falls apart. After a revolt by the people, Anastasia and her family lose their wealth and status, and are eventually exiled to Siberia. In these dark days, Anastasia’s growing love for Sasha still brings her hope and joy. But there is little hope for their future together.
Anastasia’s Secret is a romantic and tragic story of what might have been, and brings Anastasia to life as a regular teenager with hopes and dreams, experiencing all the emotions of a teenage girl, although she grew up in a time very different than our own. It was hard to read the book at times knowing what the outcome would be and I so wished it could have ended differently. For readers who love historical fiction or who are fascinated by the Romanovs, I highly recommend this book, but be forewarned, you may need tissues at the end.
Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.