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ANASTASIA’S SECRET by Susanne Dunlap


by Susanne Dunlap

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59990-420-7
Publisher: Bloomsbury

What if Grand Duchess Anastasia had a secret lover among the guards who watched over the Romanovs? That conceit provides the arc, such as it is, for this first-person account of the last years of the Russian monarchy. This Anastasia is an immature, sweet and spoiled innocent whose world revolves around her family, all of whom can be summed up in one or two flattening adjectives (sensible, kindly, sickly). The romance between Anastasia and Sasha—who manages to go from the youngest imperial guard to a commander of Bolshevik troops, making his character even more obviously fictional—will appeal to romantics, but Anastasia’s naïveté (late in the book she is startled to realize “a loaf of bread had a fixed price”) grates and detracts from the sympathy a doomed heroine should command. Even a near escape has no excitement as the ending is a matter of historical record (neatly laid out in an epilogue, which also references the 2007 grave and the various false Romanovs). Anastasia has never been so dull. (cast of characters, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 12 & up)