The Secret Wife – Gill Paul
Publisher: Avon (August 25, 2016)
Pages: 416 pages
A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries…
Love. Guilt. Heartbreak.
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 – in danger . . .
Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation makes her flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to a long-buried family secret . . .
Haunting, moving and beautifully written, The Secret Wife effortlessly crosses centuries, as past merges with present in an unforgettable story of love, loss and resilience.
Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Dinah Jefferies.
This story is completely captivating to those pursuing more knowledge on the Russian Revolution. I am personally drawn to Russian history; therefore, I love reading historical fiction books based in this time period. The existing contrast between the aristocrat’s lifestyle and the way the working class lived during that period, gives you an idea why this revolution happened and how it nevertheless, affected both groups.
It’s amazing how life can change from one moment to another. One minute you are seating in your golden throne and the next you are being murdered in a secluded basement. Sometimes I just can’t conceive how gruesome were the deaths of the Romanovs and the rest of those aristocrats that stayed behind. I feel that this revolution was a time bomb waiting to happen although those children were not to blame for their parent’s crimes and did not deserve to die.
Now, have you ever wondered what would’ve happened if at least one of the Romanovs survived? The Secret Wife will give you a scoop on this scenario.
We have Tatiana Romanov as one of our main characters, the Tsar’s second daughter. History dictates that she was born the 10th of June 1897 in Saint Petersburg and was murdered in 1917. Tatiana was usually referred as the most beautiful out of the Tsar’s daughters with a high resemblance to her mother. She was the most popular out of all her sisters during their lifetime. Apparently, she had more leadership skills and was very social.
She was also known for heading Red Cross committees and working as a nurse along with her mother and sisters, during World War I. They kept doing this job up until their arrest following the Russian Revolution. During her time working as caretaker for soldiers she got to meet Dmitri Malama, a wounded soldier under her care.
Dmitri wanted to give her something in exchange for her company and care-taking skills, so he gave her a French Bulldog they named Ortipo, since one of the few things they had in common was their mutual love for dogs. Now this is one shortest romances known to history, since he was later killed during combat and we all know how poor Tatiana’s life ended.
In this story, they both actually start a serious relationship where they get married in secret. This fact changes the course of history in every possible way. Most importantly, Dmitri survives! We come across his life and what he does after he thinks that the whole Romanov family was murdered.
The greatest thing about this book is that the author does not only portrays Dmitri’s life, but she also presents us his great granddaughter Kitty, who’s the one doing all the investigation for us on Dmitri’s past.
Kitty realizes that her husband was cheating on her and instead of confronting him, she takes advantage of an unexpected inheritance and moves to Upstate New York for the summer. That inheritance involved a cabin in that area that belonged to her great grandfather Dmitri, whom she didn’t even know existed. When she gets there, she does some renovating work due to the poor conditions of the place and little by little she starts finding pieces of the great puzzle this story is.
Something I really liked about this story is the way Kitty dealt with her troubled marriage. Usually we read romance stories and the minute we know someone’s cheating we hate them. In The Secret Wife, we start hating Kitty’s husband from reading the first page, however since she’s alone in that cabin, most of her thoughts drift to her past and we can see how they’re both to blame for his indiscretion.
I also love how the author gave the opportunity to some of these characters to live and grow old, when we know for certain they died very young. I think that’s one of the most amazing things about books. You can make everything right just by writing it down.
I really hope you guys love this book as much as I did and I can’t wait to read more books by this amazing author!