This is Gill Paul at her best. This time she focuses on one of the Grand Duchesses of the Romanov Dynasty and a cavalry officer.
The story of the Russian royal family in the early 20th Century is well known. After being moved from pillar to post, and with the expected help from their English relatives not materialising, their life became one of misery. The world was at war and Revolution was building in Russia. Their execution is a matter of record. However, theories persist that one or more of the Grand Duchesses survived.
Gill Paul weaves a story around the theory that Tatiana survived. And so..
While nursing in a makeshift hospital Tatiana meets cavalry officer Dimitri Yakovlevich Malama and they forge a friendship that survives their rare meetings as he comes and goes to and from the war fronts. With the uncertainty of war raging around them, they marry in secret before his departure on yet another mission.
News of the execution of the Romanovs reaches him at the front, and he is distraught. When the war ends, he leaves Moscow and moves to Berlin where he meets Rosa and forms a relationship with her. When Rosa discovers she is pregnant they move in together although she knows he will never marry her as he still in love with Tatiana and considers himself still married to her.
Fast forward to 2016 when we meet Kitty Fisher. Kitty has just found out that her husband is cheating on her and she leaves London on a whim and travels to Lake Akanabee and a cabin left to her by her great-grandfather. While fixing up the cabin she begins to research this great-grandfather of whom she was totally unaware. Both her mother and grandmother have died and there is nobody left to answer her questions.
Ms Paul has once again, produced a book that seamlessly mingles historical facts and figures with her fictional characters. It is a rare book and a rare author who can do this and Ms Paul is one such.
I listened to the story on an audiobook but have no doubt it would be an exciting book to read. If asked I would give this five stars.