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Anastasia's Secret
 
 

Anastasia's Secret [Kindle Edition]

Susanne Dunlap
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

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 and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance 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? Inspired by the mysteries that have long surrounded the last days of the Romanov family, Susanne Dunlap's new novel is a haunting vision of the life-and love story-of Russia's last princess.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 454 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1599904209
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens; Reprint edition (15 Mar 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004M8RUEA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #271,906 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 21 Aug 2010
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Anastasia Romanov may be royalty, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have problems. Her brother, Alexei, is dealing with the life-threatening disease of hemophilia, which has no known cure. Her older sisters are dealing with the likes of men and society, while she's stuck in a time-warp of 'little girl' proportions. Tsar Nicholas the Second, her father, is worrying about a revolution going on in Russia, all the while watching his wife become entranced by the workings of 'holy man' Grigory Rusputin. Behind the scenes, a friendship with a soldier named Sasha also threatens to shatter the fragile piece of the family....

And then war is imminent. Battle lines are drawn, and the people of Russia are ready to take up arms. Sasha and Anastasia's relationship, which is barely able to be kept, is laced with feelings of something more. Grigory's influence on Alexandra and her son, Alexei, is growing tighter, and the governing of the country is becoming harder and harder to maintain. How is a girl supposed to grow up knowing the harshness of war, when she only knows what goes on in her own little world of royalty?

The characters that make up the pages of a historical novel are the hardest part to work out. History shows us a factual face, personal accounts give us a general personality, and rarely, we have diaries or journals that show the true mind of the figure. Anastasia had the first two down, and thus she's been pictured as a tom-boy with a lot of spunk and a mindset unlike the rest of her family. I always loved her general personality, and thus I'm really picky about how people depict her. Dunlap gives her a fresh face, keeping her rambunctious attitude and coupling it with the thought processes of a teenage girl on the brink of adulthood when she just isn't ready for it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely fiction 28 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed reading this book. it is well researched, well written and well paced.
I loved the relationship between Anastasia and her sisters, which was better portrayed than in other books about Anastasia, they all seem incredibly close, but like real sisters, bickering and arguing. I liked the Sasha storyline too, although at times was a little far fetched, i.e THAT incident in the pantry. I also liked Anastasia's personality, she seemed far more mischievious and like her typical personality that the Anastasia in The House Of Special Purpose, by John Boyne.
However I was unimpressed by the portrayal of Nicholas and Alexandra. Both seemed slightly cruel and ignorant of Anastasia and almost cruel to her and Maria.
An enjoyable, but fictional, read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a tender romance about a young Russian duchess 4 Mar 2010
By Stephanie Cowell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Nearly a hundred years ago the Czar of Russia was forcibly removed from his throne and taken prisoner by Russian soldiers; at that time his youngest daughter, Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, was sixteen. From being the ruling family of the country, the Romanovs slipped into increasingly tight imprisonment though never for one moment did the parents or their five children lose their deep love for each other. It was a tragic circumstance for a girl so enchanting and full of life that her story and its legends have been told again and again.

Now in a particularly touching way, Susanne Dunlap has written a gentle romance for the brave Anastasia: a young man Sasha of plain birth who gives her his balalaika and shows her the country's poverty. He meets her secretly in gardens and cellars and even in the snows of Siberia and tries to warn her when her family is in danger.

The Romanov family is as close and loving as any large family can be today; as they are dispossessed of their titles, palaces, jewelry, even toys and books, their close servants and even proper food and heat, they cling together bravely. In the midst of this tragedy, Anastasia is concerned to keep the existence of Sasha from her sisters who begin to guess. A beautiful book about a young girl from a great fallen family who, in the midst of her worry for them and the privations they suffer, finds a love of her own.

I am the author of MARRYING MOZART and CLAUDE & CAMILLE: A NOVEL OF MONET.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A romantic story about what may have happened to Anastasia 11 April 2010
By Debbie's World of Books - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I would rate this book at 3.5 stars.

I've had a fascination with Anastasia Romanov ever since I learned about the Romanov's in my Russian History class back in high school. The mystery behind her death and if it was possible that she actually survived this tragedy captured my imagination. Not only is this story fascinating but I also enjoyed reading more about what the rest of the family might have been like. I never knew much about the tsar's wife or the rest of the children other than that Alexei had hemophilia.

Dunlap creates a romantic story that follows Anastasia for a few years as she grows older, meets a young soldier who just might be able to save her life in the end. Watching the relationship between Anastasia and Sasha grow was fascinating and the story keeps you wondering will Sasha save Anastasia or will his head be turned by the rising beliefs of the Bolsheviks. To find out you will need to read the book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A romantic and heartbreaking tale of Russia's last grand duchess. 6 Mar 2010
By Rebecca Herman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
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
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anastasia's Secret 28 April 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Anastasia's Secret was not what I was expecting. That's not to say it wasn't good, because it was. I love historical fiction and Anastasia's Secret is at the top of my list. Susanne Dunlap did an amazing job with it!

This is my first Susanne Dunlap book and I really liked her writing style. It was super east to read and it helped make the book seem a lot quicker. The writing was just beautiful and the story was even better.

The characters were definitely the best part of the book. The Romanov family was full of very likable people and there friends were great too. I felt so bad for all of them and I hated all the horrible things that they had to go through. Sasha was also really great, but in a completely different way. =]

I have to say that the plot dragged a bit. There was a lot of talk and not a lot of action. I had some trouble getting through the parts where nothing was happening but I did manage and enjoyed the book tremendously.

I won't tell you how it end, obviously, but I will say that it is historically correct. If you know the story of the Romanov family, then you know how it ends. It wasn't the ending I was hoping for but I was glad Susanne Dunlap stuck with what really happened.

Overall, Anastasia's Secret is definitely on my list of recommendations for fans of historical fiction. Susanne Dunlap succeeded in writing a fantastic story that practically transported me to Russia. You know it's a good book when you feel like you are a part of it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 21 Aug 2010
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Anastasia Romanov may be royalty, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have problems. Her brother, Alexei, is dealing with the life-threatening disease of hemophilia, which has no known cure. Her older sisters are dealing with the likes of men and society, while she's stuck in a time-warp of 'little girl' proportions. Tsar Nicholas the Second, her father, is worrying about a revolution going on in Russia, all the while watching his wife become entranced by the workings of 'holy man' Grigory Rusputin. Behind the scenes, a friendship with a soldier named Sasha also threatens to shatter the fragile piece of the family....

And then war is imminent. Battle lines are drawn, and the people of Russia are ready to take up arms. Sasha and Anastasia's relationship, which is barely able to be kept, is laced with feelings of something more. Grigory's influence on Alexandra and her son, Alexei, is growing tighter, and the governing of the country is becoming harder and harder to maintain. How is a girl supposed to grow up knowing the harshness of war, when she only knows what goes on in her own little world of royalty?

The characters that make up the pages of a historical novel are the hardest part to work out. History shows us a factual face, personal accounts give us a general personality, and rarely, we have diaries or journals that show the true mind of the figure. Anastasia had the first two down, and thus she's been pictured as a tom-boy with a lot of spunk and a mindset unlike the rest of her family. I always loved her general personality, and thus I'm really picky about how people depict her. Dunlap gives her a fresh face, keeping her rambunctious attitude and coupling it with the thought processes of a teenage girl on the brink of adulthood when she just isn't ready for it. The depth showed great apt for characterization. Anastasia constantly worries about things that we all can relate to, such as her relationship with Sasha, and things that we can never imagine, like the Bolshevik uprising in Russia. Her family is also depicted stunningly, with great personalities that are flexible yet true to what history tells us. Sasha didn't appear much, which disheartened me. His whole relationship with Anastasia was pretty thread-bare compared to the rest of the story. It was marketed as being more of a love story, so I felt cheated in that respect. The various servants and such also got confusing, but they were interchangeable, and more for historical accuracy than for characterization.

Plot and historical accuracy are also important. Being an Anastasia fan-boy, I naturally had an above-basic knowledge of what went on with the Romanovs, and I was immensely pleased to see a ton of historical fact and care used in the novel. Basic facts were there (i.e. the Romanov's various pets, the political cartoons about Rusputin and the Romanov women), but she got everything down to the time of events(though Dunlap admitted to lightly moving some around to fit the character's needs, which was understood). The plot moved fast for me, and the interest in what would happen with Sasha and with Anastasia's handling of the war kept me going strong, though I could see how a reader less history-minded would get bored at some intervals.

Rating a historical novel is really hard, but as a fan of the time period, character, and history of events, I can't help but love this book. Dunlap did everything right in her research, and it comes out as a beautiful tapestry dedicated to a teenage girl often placed as a little kid. I'll admit I never really realized the impact of Anastasia's real age at the time of the events - and Dunlap gave me a lot to think about with that. Even her ending note provided a great website to go to about the Romanovs, as well as some insight as to how the novel got started. The relationship with Sasha and some lack of interest in day-to-day events will dissuade readers who don't normally read the genre, but the writing is great, Anastasia is fresher than ever, and Dunlap just does too much right for me to not tell others to consider reading this book.

Reviewed by: John Jacobson, aka "R.J. Jacobs"
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Popular Highlights

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&quote;
More important than that, somewhere in all the vastness of Russia was one whose heart held a piece of my own. &quote;
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&quote;
the divinely appointed tsar, the representative of our God on earth. &quote;
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&quote;
The Alexander Palace Time Machine, a wonderful Web site that includes the full text of several of the existing memoirs, a wealth of pictures, &quote;
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