Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Was Anastasia” as Want to Read:
I Was Anastasia
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Was Anastasia

by
3.74  ·  Rating details ·  7,722 ratings  ·  1,543 reviews
In an enthralling new feat of historical suspense, Ariel Lawhon unravels the extraordinary twists and turns in Anna Anderson's 50-year battle to be recognized as Anastasia Romanov. Is she the Russian Grand Duchess, a beloved daughter and revered icon, or is she an imposter, the thief of another woman's legacy?

Countless others have rendered their verdict. Now it is your tu
...more
Hardcover, 333 pages
Published March 27th 2018 by Doubleday Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Was Anastasia, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sara There is no new evidence. The Tsar, Tsarina, Olga, Tatiana, and Anastasia were exhumed in 1991. Maria and Alexei were discovered in 2007. DNA samples…moreThere is no new evidence. The Tsar, Tsarina, Olga, Tatiana, and Anastasia were exhumed in 1991. Maria and Alexei were discovered in 2007. DNA samples proved the entire family was killed in 1918. The same DNA proved Anna Anderson was a fraud. (less)
Paul Emily, this is Historically accurate and being accurate gives you the facts, as nasty as they are. But it really is a fascinating book, I always…moreEmily, this is Historically accurate and being accurate gives you the facts, as nasty as they are. But it really is a fascinating book, I always wanted to know the answers to the questions, Was She, Wasn't She, well you have it all here! Yes, there are Bits that are terribly sad, but that's what they did to the Romanov Family. It's No worse, although some would say it is, as to what Hitler did in the Second World War to the Jews. It is Fact what happened. It's just it's laid out in one story of one family, not a Million or more Families.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,722 ratings  ·  1,543 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Crumb
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, for me, was mediocre. The history behind this story was fascinating, but the way the story was executed, was ill-conceived. There were two alternating story lines that were asynchronous to one another, which made for a pretty confusing reading experience. However, with all that being said, I still really enjoyed the story and the history.

This novel chronicled the final days of the Romanov family, shining a light on Anastasia. Did she die in Ekaterinburg with the rest of her family or
...more
Julie
I am Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon is a 2018 Doubleday publication.

No matter how many movies, documentaries, or books I’ve watched or read, the romantic in me simply can’t resist the fascination and the mystery of Anastasia Romanov. This book examines the life of Anna Anderson, who claimed she was Anastasia, while also chronicling the period of time the Romanov’s were in exile, leading up to their execution during the Bolshevik Revolution.

Anna’s claims captured our imaginations for decades and spa
...more
Debra
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Most people know the story of the execution/assassination of Tsar Nicholas II and the rest of the Romanov family in Elakterinburg, Russia at the hands of the Bolsheviks following the Russian revolution. Most have also heard of the woman (Anna Anderson) who claimed for years to be Anastasia Romanov and that she survived the brutal attack that claimed the lives of her family a
...more
jessica
i am absolutely obsessed with all things romanov. i couldnt tell you how many times i watched the animated film ‘anastasia’ as a girl. and what i thought was just a childhood phase has slowly become something of a passion, so you can imagine my excitement when this book came out earlier this year.

the story of anna anderson is not one that i am too familiar with. i was aware there was someone who claimed to be the grand duchess anastasia, but beyond the claims eventually being dismissed, i knew n
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 engrossing stars to I Was Anastasia! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Being approved to read an early copy of I Was Anastasia was like winning the lottery to this historical fiction fan. Not only because of my love for the genre, but also because of my interest in Anastasia. Not because she was a princess necessarily, but because growing up I remember discussions about Anna Anderson and if she was or was not the real Anastasia Romanov.

Ariel Lawhon ambitiously tackles this notion in a genius structure through writing
...more
Tammy
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Those unfamiliar with the Anastasia Romanov/Anna Anderson story will find much to like in this fictional novel. It’s an effective introduction to the bizarre controversy surrounding two historical people. My experience was a bit different. As others have mentioned, Anastasia’s story is told chronologically while Anna’s story is told in reverse order. Given that this is well worn material, I understand that the author chose this structure for dramatic effect. However, I found it to be a contrivan ...more
Diane S ☔
Apr 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
3.5 I am fairly familiar with the last days of the Romanovs, having read a few non fiction books about the subject. The woman who appears and tries to prove that she is a Romanovs daughter Anastasia, I was less familiar. In alternating chapters we follow both stories. The one of the Romanovs imprisonmrnt and eventually murder is written in a linear timeline, the story of Anna is told backwards in time, even within the same Chapter, we go backwards.

I did like learning more about the girls persona
...more
Angela M
Mar 27, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan Meissner
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. It was cleverly constructed, expertly researched, deeply moving and I couldn't wait to get to it at the end of the day, which is when I read for pleasure. Highly recommend, folks.
Bam
I admit to being endlessly fascinated with Romanov family history and with the woman who claimed to be Anastasia. So apparently is Ariel Lawhon, as she weaves together both those stories in her latest work of historical fiction: one, about the last tragic eighteen months of the Romanov family's lives told through the eyes of their youngest daughter and the second, about Anna Anderson who claimed to be Anastasia. Anna's story is told backwards chronologically--beginning with her last court case i ...more
Cindy Burnett
Nov 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
The story of whether Anna Anderson was actually Anastasia Romanov has fascinated me since I was young. When discoveries were made relevant to this story, I followed them closely. Naturally, I was very excited to read I Was Anastasia, and I knew how the book would turn out (I am choosing my wording carefully because I do not want to spoil the ending for those unfamiliar with the tale). While I enjoyed the book, I had significant trouble following the story as it unfolded in I Was Anastasia. Lawho ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
You might have heard about Anna Anderson and her claim (to fame) to be Anastasia Romanov. But, if you haven't, then I suggest you google her and read up on her life. Anna Anderson's life was very interesting and it has btw been made into a movie with Ingrid Bergman and a miniseries with Amy Irving. I've seen both since I find the Romanov's a captivated subject.

I was curious to see how of Ariel Lawhon would construct the story since much has happened since Anna Anderson died in 1984. Now I take f
...more
Lori
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: given-up
I hate to not finish a book, however, we are in the process of moving and this is just not holding my interest. I’ve struggled to get 50% through and have no desire to fight my way through the rest. This story’s timeline bounces around a lot which is extremely distracting & I made the huge mistake of Googling the people mentioned which ruined the story for me. I’m a Googler when it comes to true events... it usually enhances the story for me by allowing me to picture the people & places. ...more
Dianne
After the entire Romanov family was brutally slaughtered by a drunken firing squad, the family’s bodies were spirited away, hidden from the world. When all seven bodies could not be accounted for, the rumors began, and a young woman became the vortex of decades of guesswork. Was Anna Anderson really Anastasia Romanov? Is it possible she survived the slaughter of 1918 only to have an attempted suicide thwarted when she was fished form a frigid canal? Is this woman fitting the basic description of ...more
Frank Phillips
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this one late into the night so this will be a brief review! Overall a really intriguing book in which there is a lot of jumping back and forth in time. At times the jumping back and forth in time can be a bit confusing, and that might be my only critique, if any, on this book. It's hard for me to rate this book because it's someone's life story, and a tragic one at that. You can really tell the author did her research even though she admits she took several liberties with the truth. The ...more
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
DNF'ing at page 93. I'm not really loving it and the horrible deaths and treatment of animals has totally turned me off.
Erin
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

I Was Anastasia marks my first experience with author Ariel Lawhon. I was familiar with the history behind the novel, but I didn’t have any real expectations when I picked it up and was more than a little surprised when the book proved almost impossible to put aside.

Lawhon’s style and tone captured my attention from the first line and refused to release its hold until the very end of the narrative. I hate to gush, but Lawhon
...more
☮Karen
Remember the thriller recently written completely in a reverse timeline, and readers either tolerated it or hated it? I didn't mind it too much, once used to it. Well, in this book only half of it goes backwards in time, but it bothered me anyway. The chapters alternate between Anna Anderson's story and Anastasia's. The Anastasia chapters slowly lead up to when the Romanov family is executed in 1918, and Anna's go from 1970 to around the time of the executions. Only at the end do we know how it ...more
Katherine Gypson
SPOILER ALERT: It's almost impossible to review this book without spoilers. Takeaway for those who don't want it spoiled - historical novel that sacrifices depth and character development for a gimmicky structure. DISCLAIMER: I received an advance copy of this book from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

Ok, if you want to know more, scroll down




This is my first experience reading Ariel Lawhon and I'm deeply disappointed. I've been reading historical fiction for over twenty years and have
...more
Tracey
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! Just, a 5+ stars WOW!

A big Thank you goes out to Netgalley/Doubleday Publishing and the author Ariel Lawhon for an advanced ebook copy.

“Am I truly Anastasia Romanov? A beloved daughter. A revered icon. A Russian grand duchess.”

This book was just exquisite! When I was around 12 years old I became interested in the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia/Anna Anderson story. And just young enough and romantic enough to believe Anna was truly the Grand Duchess and survived the Revolutio
...more
MaryBeth's Bookshelf
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In July 1918, Tsar Nicholas and the entire Romanov family was brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks. For decades people believed that Anastasia Romanov survived. This is that story told through two story lines - Lawhon flips back and forth in time, telling us about the final months the Romanov family and then the subsequent years when people tried to prove that Anastasia Romanov survived the murders.

I loved Lawhon's style of telling the story in pieces, jumping back and forth in time. I was comple
...more
Amy Leigh
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This cover is gorgeous but that isn't even what attracted me to this book. It was Anastasia. I first fell in love with Anastasia when I saw the animated movie about her. I love reading anything about Anastasia and this historical fiction wasn't just intriguing, it was impossible to put down! There is, of course, some brutality when you read about what happened to the Romanov family. If you've never read anything about Anastasia I would highly recommend this book and then deep dive into historica ...more
Wendy'sThoughts
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ariel Lawhon Fans, Historical, Romanov
4.5 A Tale of Two Women Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free
Years ago when I was a teenager I saw the movie Anastasia with Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brenner. It captivated me. As I sat in my living room watching this Black and White film, everything about it was a wonder. The acting, the subtle romance between Yul Brenner and Ms. Bergman... I was hooked.

I then found Nicholas and Alexandra: An Intimate Account of the Last of the Romanov and the Fall of Imperial Russia. It was a 1967 biography of the last roya
...more
Kaila
Apr 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-uno, 2018
I've been attracted to fictionalized versions of the Anastasia Romanov story for as long as I can remember (especially the recent Broadway musical and the 1997 film that inspired it), and even if Ariel Lawhon's I Was Anastasia is far from a romanticized, child-friendly take on the tale, it instantly intrigued me when it came onto my radar. I love the notion of the whole history being unfolded in a dual timeline that explores the bloody Russian Revolution and Romanov family's fall from grace, as ...more
Deanne Patterson
Is she or is she not? That is the question surrounding Anna Anderson who insists she survived the massacre of her family in the basement. She claims to be Anastasia Romanov, the Russian Grand Duchess. She bears an uncanny resemblance to her and has many scars on her body that she says prove her identity. Back then dna testing was not available to prove or disprove her story.Fascinating yet horrifying this historical suspense is based on research the author has done. Many scenes and wording of se ...more
J.T.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much I endorsed it officially!

A wildly unique look at the dual mysteries of Anastasia Romanov and her possible imposter Anna Anderson results in a brilliant reimagining of two fascinating lives. Complex, exciting, and beautifully written, Ariel Lawhon never disappoints. Her impeccable research and lush prose make I WAS ANASTASIA compulsively readable. A fantastic novel.
Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review to come!
Kristy K
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars

The constant shifting in the timeline of the story confused me at times. Anna’s timeline is all over the place and I would have preferred to have hers go chronologically like Anastasia’s.

I really liked Anastasia’s POV but couldn’t get into Anna’s.

This book re-sparked my interest in the Romanovs and now I need to go read some non-fiction books about them.
Gabrielle
Mar 27, 2018 marked it as to-read
I have always been obsessed with Romanov lore...

Excellent interview with the author on NPR.
Pam Jenoff
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whether you have always been fascinated by the mystery Anastasia Romanov or are diving into it for the first time, you will be enraptured by this accounting of Anna Anderson 50 year odyssey to be recognized as the surviving member of the Russian dynasty.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: I Was Anastasia / Ariel Lawhon - 3.5*** 4 14 Mar 15, 2019 06:57AM  
Books & Coffee: I Was Anastasia - Discussion Questions 1 9 Oct 27, 2018 07:17AM  
Books & Coffee: I Was Anastasia - First Impressions 1 3 Oct 08, 2018 01:53PM  
I Was Anastasia Buddy Read 17 21 Jul 17, 2018 04:38AM  
Play Book Tag: I Was Anastasia/ Ariel Lawhon - 5 stars 11 30 May 14, 2018 03:02PM  
Play Book Tag: I Was Anastasia 4 35 Apr 05, 2018 09:31AM  
Anna Anderson (why I hope she wasn't Anastasia) 2 38 Jan 14, 2018 07:15AM  
  • The Romanov Empress: A Novel of Tsarina Maria Feodorovna
  • The Phantom's Apprentice
  • The Lost Season of Love and Snow
  • The Underground Railroad
  • Woman 99
  • The Summer I Met Jack
  • Becoming Bonnie
  • Impossible Saints
  • The Lost Crown
  • The Lost Daughter
  • As Bright as Heaven
  • Lost Roses (Lilac Girls, #2 Prequel)
  • Winter Sisters (Mary Sutter, #2)
  • The English Wife
  • Hanging Mary
  • All The Beautiful Girls
  • Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers
  • The Hollywood Daughter
690 followers
Ariel Lawhon is the critically acclaimed author of THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS, FLIGHT OF DREAMS, and I WAS ANASTASIA. Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, four sons, ...more
“This is how the human heart beats, a twisted staccato of love and envy, anger and relief.” 1 likes
“The thing Anna has always hated most about being a small woman is the disadvantage she has in situations like this. People assume they can touch you, pat you, shake your hand without permission. They assume that if your size is little more than that of a child, you must be one. That you can be talked down to or coerced. It is hard for a small person to be intimidating or to be taken seriously. This lack of stature has forced Anna to develop other skills through the years: to sharpen her wit, to treat her tongue like a blade and her mind like a whetstone.” 1 likes
More quotes…