I have always been fascinated by the story of Anastasia, the Russian princess who was shot and killed along with the rest of her family, but who presumably didn't die, paving the way for a variety of people to claim they are her.
Paul's novel sucked me in from the very first page. Lots has been written about Anastasia, but this book focuses on Maria, another of the Romanov sisters. Maria writes of her time under house arrest, and then the family's forced move to an underground room. When a few guards enter the room and begin shooting, Maria realizes that her entire family is to be killed.
And yet through some miracle, she manages to survive, being carried in to the forest and cared for by a guard. Paul's story unfolds sharing the hardships of Maria's life as years, and eventually decades pass without anyone knowing her true identity.
In 1973 Val is living in Australia in an abusive marriage, stunned by her father's repeated confession, "I didn't want to kill her," shortly before he dies. This sets Val on a quest to learn more about her father's early life and time in Russia as a young man.
Paul weaves these two stories together seamlessly and I was enjoyed the fact that I wasn't able to guess how the stories came together until I read it for myself. Although this is a work of fiction, I enjoyed reading about the Romanovs and Russia during this time period. The Lost Daughter has piqued my interest in knowing more -and refreshing my memory on what I do know -about this royal family.
I absolutely loved this novel and spent much of the weekend curled up reading, unable to put it down.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of the book for my review. All opinions expressed are, as always, my own.