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August 29, 2019

The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"They were going to shoot her father. Maria crossed herself and out of the corner of her eye saw her mother and sisters doing the same. And then it all happened fast. Yurovsky pulled out a gun, the other men did the same, and there were flashes of light and deafening sound that ricocheted around the room, Nicholas staggered and fell heavily to the floor, but still guns were firing and that was when Maria realized they were shooting them all. They couldn't be. It made no sense. But they were."  (p 46)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

August 2019; William Morrow; 978-0062843272
audio, ebook, print (496 pages); historical fiction
The Lost Daughter is an amazing well-researched novel by an author who excels at historical fiction. In this novel, she brings us a story about the Romanov family in Russia who were slaughtered in 1918 by the Red Army who opposed the royal family. There has long been speculation that one of the four daughters survived. This book is a 'what if' story - what if Maria really survived the massacre.

The novel begins when the Romanov family is taken from their large estate and locked up under house arrest in a very small home. At 18 years old, Maria was still enjoying life and talked to the men who kept them under guard - some of them her age. When the family is slaughtered, Maria was wounded but not killed. Through the help of someone, she was taken away and ended up living a very different life than what she had grown up in. I enjoyed Maria's part of the story - the author had done so much research on not only the Romanov but also life in Russia during the time period of the book that it all came alive for me.

The other timeline in this novel is in 1973 in Australia. Val has been estranged from her cruel, Russian father for years when she gets a call from his nurse who tells her that he has been talking about not wanting to kill someone in his past. Her first thought was that he had killed her mother who mysteriously disappeared when she was a child. As she searches for clues over who her father killed she uncovers some confusing clues that tie her father back to Russia where he grew up.

I enjoyed both timelines in this novel and really liked the characters of Maria and Val - even though their time periods were very different, their love for their families was strong in both of them. I also enjoyed the Russian setting. I was lucky enough to travel to Russia several years ago and toured the Winter Palace and the Catherine Palace of the Romanov family and Maria's memories of her life living in those places made the story even more special for me.

This wonderful novel takes us from Russia to Australia to China with well-researched background on how people lived in each part of the world. If you enjoy historical fiction, you don't want to miss this fantastic novel. Now it's time for me to read some of the earlier novels by this author.

Buy The Lost Daughter at Amazon

About the Author

Gill Paul writes historical fiction, including The Lost Daughter (set in Stalinist Russia and Sydney), Another Woman's Husband (about Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana), The Secret Wife (about the Romanovs), No Place for a Lady (set during the Crimean War), Women and Children First (set on the Titanic) and The Affair (set in 1960s Rome during the making of the Burton-Taylor Cleopatra film).

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter

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  1. i love an author that does their research. it comes through in the writing
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. Oooh... this one sounds good, I love a good "what if" story! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours