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The Secret Wife

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  39,462 ratings  ·  2,528 reviews
A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries...

Love. Guilt. Heartbreak.

1914: 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—i
Paperback, 416 pages
Published August 25th 2016 by Avon
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  39,462 ratings  ·  2,528 reviews

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Jun 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
1.5 Stars

Dear Book

I feel we have come so far in our relationship that I can now be honest with you.
I think it is time we parted company despite our mutual friend pairing us together with the hope that our relationship would be the one that would be the talk of 2017. I know you think I am going to say the usual " it's me and not you". But let me assure you it's all "YOU" despite your handsome facade you just don't have any depth or knowledge that I require for a long term relationship, in fac
The Secret Wife by Gill Paul is a 2016 Avon publication.

This book is an amazing, epic love story, unlike any I’ve read in a long time!

When Kitty Fischer makes a shocking discovery about her life and marriage, she flees England in search of the property in the Adirondacks she recently inherited. The place is in horrible disrepair, but she sets to work restoring it, while searching out her personal connection to her great-grandfather, Dmitri, the original owner of the property. This is a journey
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it
Great book!!! "Something" in this book didn't sit well with me. I was going to knock off a star as soon as I came across "it". My mind was made up however my opinion changed towards the end. I'm not saying "it's" okay but I understand. The heart wants what it wants!!!!
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
I had already decided that this was a book that I really wanted to read before I got an email about participating in a blog tour for the book. I been interested in the Romanovs for years and reading a mystery book about Grand Duchess Tatiana was too tempting to resist. I was especially thrilled about reading about Tatiana instead of Anastasia who otherwise seems to be the most popular sister to write about.

The Secret Wife has two storylines. One in the present time with Kitty leaving her husband
This is a big ... fat ... preposterous ... WHAT IF. But a good read nevertheless.

A mystery built around the Romanovs of Russia. A fantasy built around one of the daughter's, Tatiana's, romances with a soldier. And then it becomes a story within a story when Kitty Fischer, one of the descendants, inherits a remote cottage at a lake and tries to find out more about her great-grandfather. Decide on the Romanoff connection as the axle, and then add the rest of the story in the American idiom, and yo
I could not get into this story at all. It felt like there was no character development and because of that the story felt completely fake and made the characters unlikable. Not to mention the fact that the characters in this story said and did things that seemed so out of the norm of what any rational person would do or say. I had to force myself to finish this book.
Marguerite Kaye
Oh dear, this is one of those books that everyone seems to love, and that simply didn't work for me. Since I skim-read the vast majority of it, I can't rate it but I'll try to explain why.

Basically, I liked the premise, I usually like Richard and Judy recommendations, having just finished Simon Sebag Monefiorie's brilliant Romanovs, I was ready for a time-slip involving one of the grand duchesses. But...

Firstly, I simply couldn't buy the premise. Rightly or wrongly, Tatiana seemed all wrong com
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-borrowed
3.5 I gulped this down faster than an ice cold beer on a hot summer day stars.

Those poor Romanovs! Aren't we ever going to let their souls rest in peace? However, just likeThe Tsarina's Daughter I couldn't help but get swept up in a huge historical "what if?" The whole premise is a dual narrative. The first, takes place in Russia/Germany/America between 1914-1986 and introduced readers to soldier, Dmitri Malama, who meets the Grand Duchess, Tatiana, daughter of Tsar Alexansr. The two fall in lo
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Having loved Gill’s previous book (No Place For a Lady) I was very much looking forward to reading this and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve always had a fascination for the Russian Romanov family and it’s well documented in history how they met their fate. What the author has done with The Secret Wife, and so very well, is to combine fiction with fact to make a spellbinding tale of love and loss.

I love dual narrative and timeslip but quite often prefer one period to another – as I thought would be t
Lisa Huffaker
A good idea, but poorly executed

The story regarding the Romanov's, somewhat held my interest, but I didn't care about the modern day characters. When a woman apologizes

to her husband for writing an ugly email, upon learning of his affair, it's just not plausible in my world. I just don't think they're too many women out there who would apologize for giving their husband a little grief after finding naked pics of another women on his cell phone. She continues to chastise herself and I'm thinkin
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: august-2016
Wow! I adored this book! I studied A Level History as a teenager and since then have had a real fascination with Russia and Russian history, so I jumped at the chance to read this book. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to describe just how much I enjoyed it!

The Secret Wife has a dual storyline and is set in Russia from 1914 onwards and present day America. Told through the eyes of Kitty Fisher, who has fled from Britain to her great-grandfather’s cabin in America following relationship difficul
Ange H
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating historical fiction

This was one of those "can't put it down until it's finished" books. The story of the last Tsar of Russia and his family has always been completely fascinating to me - from their early lives of unbelievable wealth, to their brutal slaughter after the revolution. But could any of them have survived? One possible answer to this mystery is imagined by the author in a beautiful, heartbreaking story about Grand Duchess Tatiana and the soldier she falls in love with short
Stephanie Kline
You know… this is a hard book to review. On one hand, I want to give it five stars, just because it introduced me to the wonderful (horrible) lives of the Russian Romanovs, and their tragic execution in 1918. This is a family – and an event – that is entirely new to me. Sure, I’d heard of the Imperial Family before, and I knew they’d come to a bloody end at some point, in some place, for some reason. But I didn’t know any specifics, and this book pulled me into their world and story. I have this ...more
Denisa Arsene
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
So good to read it. It had all the ingredients for an astonishing book: war, love, royalty, friendship, betrayal, betrayal, drama and the list still continues.
The story intersects to different storylines which, at the end, interconnect. It is the wonderful love story, so pure and fort, magical and grateful between Tatiana Romanov, the second daughter of the Tsar, and Dmitri, a soldier who was shot in the first days of the First World War. She, as a sister of charity, took care of him and they di
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Secret Wife by Gill Paul is a romantic historical fiction novel about the Romanov family. This intriguing novel revolves around Tatiana, the second daughter of the Tsar Nicholas and Dimitri Malamn, a cavalry officer. Even though I personally knew little about the Romanov family or Russian history, I found the plot, setting and characters well researched. There have been many speculations as to their fate and this is another. Highly enjoyable and I look forward to reading mire books by this a ...more

Originally posted on This Chick Reads

* Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Oh god, THIS book! Just so many feels!

The Secret Wife is a book that made me realize two things:

1) I really should read more historical fiction, and

2) I MUST check Gill Paul's previous books as I TOTALLY loved this one!

The Secret Wife is one of these beautifully written, exceptional books you just don't know how to review. I love it so much I fear no matter what I say it won't do the book justice.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars. The Secret Wife is a an intriguing piece of romantic historical fiction. Gill Paul's characters are well-developed, and actually believable as players in this improbable story. The novel portrays the tragic lives of Tatiana, Dimitri, and Rosa as they slog (in a Russian literature way) through life in search of family, solitude, permanence, and forgiveness.

The novel is full of cosmic irony as the hopes and dreams of the historic Tatiana and Dimitri are lost in the political and social
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This is Historical Fiction with dual time lines. I liked both stories. One was current day and the other covered the last few years of the Romanovs and then alittle beyond that. I liked the tie between the two stories. The title finally came into play. It didn't manifest the way I thought it would, so that was a nice little surprise. Overall, I liked this one. So 3 stars.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Romanovs of Russia and relentlessly unbelievable...just not for me. I did skim through to the end. I can't quite figure out why. I did get some more insight into the turbulence of the times (politically).
For me it was one of those oops picks.
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I have just finished reading this book and... wow what a book! Having read Gill Paul's three most recent novels and devoured them, I was looking forward to reading this one and having that 'being lost in a book' feeling again and I wasn't disappointed. This book had me interested right from the start, with characters that were so brilliantly crafted I didn't want to put the book down as I wanted to know what would happen and now that i've finished the book I'm left thinking about it- always a si
Jennifer S. Alderson
The Secret Wife is a brilliant historical fiction romance that kept me up and reading way past my bedtime!

It is the fascinating story of what could have happened, had one of the Romanov’s children managed to escape their captors and flee Russia. I love how the author used several real characters and events as the basis for her characters and plot line, then created an alternative reality that seemed truly authentic.

The politics, struggles between social classes and daily life in Russia during th
Nova Dudley-gough
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Research does not a enthralling story make. I much preferred the note from the author at the end to the novel itself!
I thought the dialogue awkward and clumsy and too much unnecessary information was wedged in. I won't read more by this author if this is her usual style, but if she writes a book the way she wrote her note and acknowledgements then I would. I suspect her natural style is much more colloquial and fun that this. The work showed, and not in a good way.
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
An engrossing love story and a thoroughly entertaining historical novel.

Emma Crowley
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Last year I discovered the writing of historical fiction author Gill Paul and fell in love with her book No Place for a Lady. Now she is back with another astounding book that makes it very hard for the reader to put down despite its length you would almost read it in one sitting. The Secret Wife is spectacular in every sense of the word – the overall plot, the scope, the settings, the characters and such detailed research make for a book that will most certainly feature in my favourites when it ...more
Aug 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Until I read and reviewed The Four Sisters by Helen Rappaport back in July 2014, I knew almost nothing about Russian history and the Romanovs. That book really sparked my interest, and I have since watched some TV programmes about them.

The Secret Wife is Gill Paul's fictionalised story of what could have happened to Grand Duchess Tatiana and cavalry officer Dmitri Malama if they had lived. There are people who say that authors should not base fiction on actual people, or events. I guess that his
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book. It’s the true story of the romance between Dmitri Malama, a Russian cavalry officer, and Grand Duchess Tatiana of the doomed Romanov family. Gill Paul brilliantly evokes their world. The story had me gripped. I couldn’t stop turning the pages to find out whether and how Dmitri would manage to save his beloved Tatiana from the grisly fate of the Romanovs. There’s also a parallel story - the story of Dmitri’s great granddaughter, Kitty. Paul brilliantly weaves between the ...more
This a a heartbreaking tale of love, loss, war, discovering a huge family secret, and a lot of history.

Kitty finds out she has inherited her great-grandfathers cabin in the Adirondacks. When she discovers her husband is cheating on her she leaves London and travels to New York to find the cabin.

Kitty spends the summer making repairs to the cabin and trying to learn about her great-grandfather. What she learns about Dmitri (her great-grandfather) is both incredible and shocking.

I did not expect t
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had a really hard time rating this one, but decided to go ahead and give it 4 stars because it was the perfect read for what I needed during my beach week. I had started reading "Lilac Girls," but it was too heavy so I opted for this one. While it's not the most well-written book (cliched at times - like the fact that a woman finds her husband cheating on her and she fixes up an old cottage), I really learned a lot about Russian history and now want to find out more about Tatiana and her famil ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
Did not finish - could not get past the terrible writing, though I was intrigued by the topic. Skipped to the end and it was just as bad as the beginning.
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1918 Russian Revolution/Present Day/ WHAT IF.... 1 4 Feb 05, 2019 06:18PM  

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Gill Paul’s historical novels have reached the top of the USA Today, Toronto Globe & Mail and kindle charts, and been translated into twenty languages. They include JACKIE AND MARIA (retitled THE SECOND MARRIAGE in the UK), two bestselling novels about the Romanovs – THE SECRET WIFE and THE LOST DAUGHTER – as well as WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST, which was shortlisted for the 2013 RNA Epic Novel of th ...more

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