Published by Simon and Schuster on April 7th 2015
Genres: Europe, Girls & Women, Historical, Royalty, Young Adult
There’s a heavy price to pay for royalty in this compelling—and true—story of Anastasia Romanov and fellow grand duchesses of Russia, from an award-winning novelist.It’s summer in 1914 and the Romanovs are aboard the Standart, the Russian royal yacht. Tsar Nicholas, Tsaritsa Alexandra, their four daughters, and the youngest child, Tsarevitch Alexei, are sailing to Romania to meet Crown Prince Carol and his parents. It seems like a fairy tale existence for the four grand duchesses, dressed in beautiful clothes, traveling from palace to palace. But it’s not. Life inside the palace is far from a fairy tale. The girls’ younger brother suffers from an excruciatingly painful and deadly blood disease, and their parents have chosen to shield the Russian people from the severity of the future tsar’s condition. The secrets and strain are hard on the family, and conditions are equally dire beyond the palace walls. Peasants chafe under the burden of extreme poverty and Tsar Nicholas’s leadership power weakens. And when the unthinkable happens—Germany declares war on Russia—nothing in Anastasia’s world will ever be the same.
Anastasia Romanova was the youngest and the most well-known daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, due to the fact of the many stories and speculation which suggested she had somehow managed to escape a grisly death. The hope of her surviving that horrific day had lasted through generations, even I had hoped so when I first read about Anastasia as a child in elementary school, still young enough to expect only happy endings. The story of Anastasia (and even that of Anne Frank) was so eye opening and yet so heartbreaking.
It’s been years since I’ve read something about Anastasia, so when I saw that Carolyn Meyer had written this book, I grabbed it. Carolyn Meyer has a way of making history come alive through her writing, providing historical details through the eyes and ears of people who are often just seen as mundane names in a history book. I knew what the outcome would be (obviously), but still I felt emotional about the way these young women, their family, and loyal friends met an end that, in my opinion, was really unnecessary.
If you’re a fan of the Romanov family and of the incredibly talented Carolyn Meyer, Anastasia and Her Sisters is a must read.