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What's On My January Reading List: I Was Anastasia

Thanks to Penguin Random House Publishing for providing me with a copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.

In an effort to cut down on my anxiety, I'm looking for ways to relax. My anxiety has been heightened since the holidays, and I'm just one step away from having to visit my doctor and ask about medication. While there's nothing wrong with taking medicines for anxiety (been there, done that), I'd rather try to find ways to manage my stress and anxiety on my own. Unplugging from the world before bedtime is something I struggle to follow through with. I'm far too accessible at all hours of the day and night, and I wind up having panic attacks as I am trying to fall asleep. It's not healthy.

So, aside from daily meditation and deep breathing, I'm really trying to put my phone down an hour or so before I'm ready to try to go to sleep. I am going to try reading before bedtime, in hopes that it will help me relax, and take my mind off of the million and ten things that will be waiting for me to tackle the following day.

I used to love reading and have just sort of gotten out of the habit, because I am constantly working. I read somewhere that this is a common and unfortunate trait found in Millenials- we don't know how to relax and unplug from work and social media. We have to try to be better- for the sake of our health and well being.

So, this month, I got my hands on a copy of a new book, which will be available in February, I Was Anastasia, by Ariel Lawhon. If you've been following what's trending (TV wise), you might have heard about The Romanoffs, a hit new series on Amazon Prime, which follows eight individuals who believe themselves to be descendants of the Romanov family- the royals of Russia. The show has raised much speculation and attention, bringing back a tragic story and piece of history, surrounding the Romanov family. If you're not familiar with what happened to the Romanovs, rather than me going into historical details, I would encourage you to look it up. Czar Nicholas II and his family were brutally executed in 1918 by the Bolsheviks. It is believed that two of their children escaped and lived on. The greatest mystery and controversy since this historic tragedy has surrounded daughter, Anastasia.

About the Book

Ariel Lawhon, a rising star in historical suspense, unravels the extraordinary twists and turns in Anna Anderson’s fifty-year battle to be recognized as Anastasia Romanov. Is she the beloved daughter, revered icon, and Russian grand duchess or is she an imposter, liar, and 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 the most psychologically complex and emotionally compelling territory: the nature of identity itself. 

     The question of who Anna Anderson is and what actually happened to Anastasia Romanov creates a saga that spans fifty years and touches three continents. This thrilling saga is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted.

Want it? Get it!

I am so intrigued by royal history, and while I have spent a lot of time reading about and studying British history, I am excited to delve into the history of the Russian royals. While this book is a historical novel, it certainly opens up a world of possibilities as to what Anastasia's life might have been like. I'm looking forward to reading further and drawing my own conclusions about the mysterious life of Anastasia Romanov.

You can pre-order I Was Anastasia at this time. The book officially releases on February 5, 2019.
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Reading a good book is a great way to beat the winter blues!
 Look for this title in our 2019 Winter Survival Guide.

What are your thoughts on the life of Anastasia Romanov? I'd love to hear them. Let's chat in the comments or on MBP social media- @mommysblockparty on Facebook or @mommysblckparty on IG and Twitter.

Happy reading!


  1. I've always been fascinated by the Romanovs. I think I've read all the books about Anastasia & Anna Anderson. I'll definitely look for this one.

  2. This book sounds AMAZING! Will definitely be checking it out.

  3. I had not heard of this book before. I'll have to read it though. It sounds like one that I would enjoy. :)


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