The Secret Daughter of the Tsar
by Jennifer Laam
I’ve always been a little fascinated with the Romanov family, so this was a no brainer to pick up when I saw it at the library. As Goodreads says, it’s “a compelling alternate history of the Romanov family in which a secret fifth daughter — smuggled out of Russia before the revolution — continues the royal lineage to dramatic consequences.” The book weaves together the stories of three women: Lena, a housemaid in the Romanov palace; Charlotte, a ballerina living in Nazi-occupied Paris; and Veronica, a modern-day professor of Russian history. Sometimes stories that jump between points-of-view can feel disjointed, but I’m happy to say that’s not the case with this book. A good chunk of the book follows Veronica as she discovers a man claiming to be the Romanov heir and investigates the story of a 5th daughter being smuggled out of Russia. The flashback sections following Lena and Charlotte slowly piece together the truth. I did guess the end about ¾ of the way through, but that didn’t ruin it for me. It’s well-written, with a good pace. There’s intrigue and danger and a love story or two. All in all, a satisfying read.