Thursday, May 24, 2018

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon

I listened to the unabridged audio version of I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon and narrated by Jane Collingwood and Sian Thomas.

Listening time for I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon is 13 hours, 3 minutes.

I'm familiar with the Romanov dynasty and the final demise/assassination of last Tsar of Russia and his family (Tsar Nicholas II, his wife, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna and their five children). 

I'm also somewhat familiar with the history of Anna Anderson, as the woman who claimed to be Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. Anna Anderson claimed to have survived the communist assassination attempt on her life to escape Russia and became Anna Anderson.

So, with that in mind, I was very interested in reading I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon to discover how Ariel Lawhon would interweave the lives of the final days of the Russian Imperial Family and the life of Anna Anderson to make a cohesive story.

All I can say is that Ariel Lawhon is a terrific writer! I really enjoyed listening to I Am Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon and felt that the narrators, Jane Collingwood and Sian Thomas, did a wonderful job narrating this historical novel. I also enjoyed listening to the author, Ariel Lawhon, discuss why she chose to write this novel and how she came about writing it at the end of the novel.

I loved how I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon came together as a novel. Especially, the alternating chapters that entwine the past and present together as told through the eyes of Anna Anderson and Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia. 

I was captivated from start to finish with I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon. I found myself looking forward as to where this novel would lead me with regards to the Anna Anderson/Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia story. I was not disappointed with the way in which this novel unfolded.

The following is the plot summary for I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon from Amazon:
"Compelling and utterly fascinating...drifts far into the mysterious lives of Anastasia Romanov and Anna Anderson." (Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours)
In an enthralling new feat of historical suspense, Ariel Lawhon unravels the extraordinary twists and turns in Anna Anderson's 50 year battle to be recognized as Anastasia Romanov. Is she the Russian Grand Duchess, a beloved daughter and revered icon, or is she an impostor, the thief of another woman's legacy?
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 survives. 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 50 years and touches three continents. This thrilling story is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted.
I am giving I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!


  1. This sounds really interesting! I'm a sucker for historical fiction and bonus: I've only read one or two other books about Russia. I'm so glad to hear you thought it was built well as a novel. One of my favorite structures is past-present narratives! Hopefully I can read this soon!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. I hope you do get the chance to read this historical novel! It was an entertaining read.

  2. Your review got me excited about the book!

    1. I'm glad I got you excited about I Am Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon. I hope you read it.

  3. I am going to order this one from the library right now! Thanks. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

    1. Can't wait to hear what you think of this novel once you've read it!