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I Was Anastasia Reviewed by C.A.GRAY of bookpleasures.com
Norm Goldman --  BookPleasures.com Norm Goldman -- BookPleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Saturday, March 9, 2024


C.A. Gray

C.A. Gray is abestselling author of YA trilogies with a focus on blendingscientific concepts like quantum physics and neuroscience.

Heraction-packed stories avoid graphic content but don't shy away from high stakes.

Aside from writing, she practices naturopathic medicineand hosts a podcast.

In her spare time, she enjoys crafting,listening to audio books, and studying the Bible.

View all articles by C.A. Gray

Author: Ariel Lawhon

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 978-1101973318

Based on the creativityand prose of the book, I’d give it 5 stars. Based on my enjoymentof it, I’d give it three… so I’m splitting the difference.

I have been fascinated bythe story of Anastasia, especially since I saw the musical rendition.I didn’t really know a great deal about the actual history though,only the legends that Princess Anastasia might have escaped with herlife while the rest of her family was executed during the BolshevikRevolution. The musical version was very much like if the story hadbeen turned into a Disney princess movie. I think that’s what Ithought I was getting.

Not so much. This was acreative retelling, based on the claims of Anna Anderson, whom Igather was the most convincing if not the only person who claimed tobe Princess Anastasia, post-assassination attempt. 

But it was told ina very creative way: Anna’s story is told backwards, from when sheis in her 70s at the beginning of the story, all the way until she isin her 20s at the end of the story. In alternate chapters,Anastasia’s story is told in chronological order, beginning from afew months prior to the family’s execution. I should haveanticipated that this would mean it would get gruesome at the end,and I did to a point, but… not to this extent. At the end of thebook, there’s rape (shown in a fade-to-black kind of way, butstill), torture, attempted suicide, and a long drawn out murderscene. Definitely not my usual reading fare, and had I not alreadybeen 85% through the book before I hit all of that, I definitelywould have stopped reading. But by then, I really wanted to know…were Anna and Anastasia the same person? 

The book was set up toreally make it seem like the answer had to be yes…

It was very compellinglywritten, and the prose was so gorgeous that I highlighted numerouscharacter descriptions and put them in my character notebook forfuture reference. Even so, I don’t know if I could actuallyrecommend the book, unless the reader has a stronger stomach than Ido.

 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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Name: Norm Goldman
Title: Book Reviewer
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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