The Secret Wife By Gill Paul
A Russian grand duchess and an English journalist. Linked by one of the world’s greatest mysteries. 1914. Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with injured cavalry officer Dmitri, but events take a catastrophic turn, placing their romance – and their lives – in danger.
2016. Kitty Fisher escapes to her great-grandfather’s remote cabin in America, after a devastating revelation forces her to flee London. There, on the shores of Lake Akanabee, she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to an extraordinary, long-buried family secret.
‘The Secret Wife’ is a beautifully written story of love, hope and truly makes for stunning reading. I started this book on Sunday morning and was unable to put it down until it reached its climatic ending on Monday night.
The story is written in two periods of time, between 1914 and 2016. The story starts in 2016 when Kitty Fisher receives a mysterious letter informing her of an inheritance that her great grandfather left in an old cabin in Lake Akanabee outside New York. After discovering that her husband had been cheating on her, Kitty takes the time away in the cabin to sort out life as well as try to trace her family history and discover more about her intriguing great grandfather.
The other part of the story is set in1914 when cavalry officer Dmitri Malama awakens from his injuries and finds Grand Duchess Tatiana Romanov tending to his wounds, the two of them embark on a tentative friendship sharing stories of literature and fall in love with one another, as Russia embarks in wars and Dmitri fights for his country, their love grows and the two secretly wed. As things worsen in Russia, the country turns against the royal Romanov family and the family is tragically killed, Dmitri’s world falls apart. As the years pass, Dmitri refuses to give up on his beloved and puts all his energy into travelling through Europe hoping to find her. Through his grief, Dmitri becomes an accomplished novelist and slowly finds the energy to move on and even though he finds solace and companionship in another woman’s arms, his heart will always belong to Tatiana.
The story is such a gripping one and is not only a love story but is also a work of fiction, as the characters that Gill has written about are all real and for more this made for such a wonderful story. The story is based on historical facts and this alone made the story quite thrilling reading. As the lifeline of Dmitri and Tatiana’s love life spanned over years and then carried on with Dmitri’s life. I’ve loved Gill’s previous books as the research and work she puts into her novels is outstanding and makes for fascinating and educational reading.
The inclusion of Kitty’s present drama, was a clever idea as it tied neatly with the historical tale as Kitty delved further into her family’s history and the chapters interweave seamlessly, straying from poverty stricken Russia and Berlin to modern day New York, where Kitty is struggling to find a wifi signal.
A luxurious story riddled with atmosphere and despair from the very beginning, ‘The Secret Wife’ is a cleverly crafted and meticulously researched book and is not only a work of haunting fiction but essentially a sweet historical love story, that made for tender and poignant reading. I absolutely adored this story.
You can buy The Secret Wife from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.