I Was Anastasia

I Was Anastasia

A Novel

Large Print - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Ariel Lawhon, a rising star in historical suspense, has set her sights on one of history's most beguiling mysteries: Did Anastasia Romanov survive the Russian Revolution, or was Anna Anderson, the woman who notoriously claimed her identity, an impostor? 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 survive. 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. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water or even acknowledge her rescuers, 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 young woman claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess. As rumors begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre at Ekaterinburg, old enemies and new threats are awakened. The question of who this woman is and what actually happened to Anastasia creates a saga that spans fifty years and three continents. This thrilling page-turner is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted"--
Publisher: New York, New York : Raqndom House Large Print, ©2018.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9780525528135
Characteristics: 531 pages ;,24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 13, 2019

Petoskey Library

Apr 04, 2019

The story goes back and forth, from Anastasia to Anna Anderson and back again, over and over again. It gets quite tiresome, and though I can understand that the author does that to make you keep reading, I just skipped through roughly half of the story, nearly all of Anna's bits, because quite frankly, most of Anna's entries were boring. Anastasia's entries were much better. WARNING: This contains references to the daughters being raped and one of the daughters willingly having sex with a soldier, who was then beaten within an inch of his life.

Apr 03, 2019

while I loved the subject, the author puts too much emphasis on where her character lived, and not enough on how she survived. I really did not enjoy the dis-connected time frames, it was like reading it backwards too many times, and left too many unanswered questions, even for a fiction.

Chapel_Hill_TracyB Feb 28, 2019

Those who like to explore the "what ifs" of history will love this novel built around the woman who claimed to be Anastasia Romanov. Anna Anderson spent much of her life trying to convince the former Russian royal family that she had escaped execution by the Bolsheviks when the rest of her family was killed. Lawhon applies a fascinating structure to the tale: we start with Anna in her seventies, living in Charlottesville Virginia, receiving news of lawsuits requesting formal recognition of her title. Anna's perspective alternates with young Anastasia's, who we meet just as the Russian revolution begins. The reader follows Anna getting younger, learning her history by going backwards in time, and Anastasia moving forward, into the revolution and eventually, exile with her family. Could these two be the same person? Lawhon uses many real people and events to tell the story but freely admits to fantasizing where she cared to. A gripping story that will keep you uncertain until the very and and then turning to other reading to know more about real events.

Jul 12, 2018

This story about Anna Anderson’s claim to be Anastasia Romanov just never grabbed me. The story of the Romanov family’s private lives and their journey through danger and to death was very interesting. But Anna Anderson’s story seemed ultimately untold. Rather, it was mapped out as to where she went and who she stayed with, then the next place and person. What was truly going on in her mind is an unanswered (unasked?) question. Of course there was no way for the author to know that, but it left me feeling unsatisfied. I wish there had been a surprise of some sort, or at least an explanation, at the end. It was a fast read but I would not recommend it.

ArapahoeLesley Jul 06, 2018

I am satisfied. I spent most of the book fearing the author wouldn't be historically accurate.

Jul 04, 2018

Stick with it! It takes some time to get used to the order in which the story is told but don’t let that keep you from finishing it. Also, don’t do any research on the historical figures before or while you read this.

ArapahoeTiegan Jun 25, 2018

I actually did not know the truth of Anna Anderson, so I greatly appreciated Ariel Lawhon's choice in writing her timeline backwards, alongside Anastasia's timeline, which moved forwards. I really appreciated the author's note at the end of the book explaining some of the liberties taken with the story and some characters, as well as the intriguing way in which Lawhon conducted her research on Anna Anderson while writing the book, which helped her preserve the timeline she chose. I do not know much about the Romanovs or the events in Russia during all of this time, but this book has definitely piqued my interest in learning more. If there is nothing else to say about this book, it is that it is a nice starting point for exploring history. However, there is plenty to say about this book. I feel it was very well done and just might sit with me for a little while.

ArapahoeStaff11 May 19, 2018

Fascinating story about the fate of Anastasia Romanov. Fast moving historical fiction that reads like a thriller.

OPL_KrisC May 10, 2018

I am a sucker for anything written about the Anastasia and the Romanovs. While this book wasn't what I expected, I still enjoyed reading it. My one wish is that is was a little faster-paced.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Apr 04, 2019

pink_jaguar_203 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add Notices
Apr 04, 2019

Sexual Content: all four of the daughters are raped; one willingly has sex


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Related Authors


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top