Ariel Lawhon, a rising star in historical suspense, unravels the extraordinary twists and turns in Anna Anderson’s 50-year battle to be recognized as Anastasia Romanov. Beloved daughter, revered icon, Russian Grand Duchess. Or is she an imposter? A liar. The thief of another woman’s legacy.
Countless others have rendered their verdict. Now it is your turn.
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. With a narrative that is equal parts THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY and MEMENTO, Lawhon wades into much more psychologically complex and emotionally compelling territory: the nature of identity itself.
The question of who this woman is and what actually happened to Anastasia Romanov spans fifty years and touches three continents, creating a thrilling saga that is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted.
What Others Are Saying About I WAS ANASTASIA:
"A young Tsarina traveling towards tragedy and an aging Grand Duchess penniless and betrayed. Twin stories so gripping you will believe history itself can be rewritten. Written with masterful intensity and moments of true human compassion." -- Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Before the War
"Ariel Lawhon is a masterful storyteller; I Was Anastasia is a wild ride, extravagant with its vivid sensory experiences and page turning suspense. Inspired by history, and infused with imagination and intrigue, this novel satisfies with every twist and turn. I was both captivated and enchanted; I will carry this story—from it’s beguiling opening to its catch-my-breath ending — in my heart and imagination for a long, long while." -- Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Driftwood Summer and The Bookshop at Water's End
"The fate of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, youngest daughter of the last Tsar, is an old mystery that never gets old. In the hands of Ariel Lawhon, it springs to life again, challenging everything we believe about what we remember and who we are. Was Anna Anderson really the only survivor of the Romanovs or was she a persistent fraud? Somehow, Lawhon, a masterly writer, not only leads her readers to ponder this riddle, but to care about it as well. This is a deft and deeply moving saga." -- Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean