A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries . . .
Love. Guilt. Heartbreak.
Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance – and their lives – in danger . . .
Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation makes her flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to a long-buried family secret . . .
Haunting, moving and beautifully written, The Secret Wife effortlessly crosses centuries, as past merges with present in an unforgettable story of love, loss and resilience.
Both the cover and blurb immediately drew me to this book. Although I must add to this that the history element of this story outweighed the present day story-line for me, and I therefore would have loved to see a cover that hinted to that part of the book.
But what a stunning, gorgeous read The Secret Wife is! One of history's most fascinating families, forever surrounded by mystery and legend, is the Romanov family. I for one have been fascinated by them since the animation movie Anastasia, and Gill Paul only intensified my interest in this piece of history. I also love that The Secret Wife focuses on Tatiana, instead of Anastasia or Alexei - the more obvious choices for a Romanov-novel.
With The Secret Wife being an historical novel based on actual events and people, knowing the course of history did ofcourse influence the reading experience. But for some reason I think knowing part of the outcome made me even more addicted to this story.
The character's emotions were so tangible I couldn't put the book down and even when I wasn't reading, the story still played on my mind.
I very much preferred the first half of the story (the "Russian" part), but when all the pieces of the puzzle started falling into place near the end of the book, I had shivers and goosebumps all over. Only when the story ended I realized that I still hadn't been able to step away from this book.
I didn't feel as strong a connection to the part of the story set in the present day, but even Kitty's devotion - both to the cabin and uncovering the past - was therapeutic and addictive in some way.
The perfect conclusion to this stunning read, to me, was the historical afterword.