So a few days back, I returned to London from spending some quality time with family in Spain for 10 days. I always like to take a selection of books with me when I am on holiday, and this trip was no exception. The first book I read was ‘The Secret Wife’.
The first thing I will mention is that this book was free on Kindle, so I wasn’t expecting much (I believe it is £2.00 not which is still a bargain). I wanted an easy to read story as I have just finished the massive 860-pages The Seveneves (review to come soon) and I was longing for a short book. However, this book took me by surprise as it was engaging, and emotional, and really made you think about the choices we make in life, love and relationships. I was not expecting to like the book as much as I did.
The book tells two tales: Kitty in the modern day dealing with the husbands’s infidelity, and that of Dimitri’s love story with one of the Romanovs’ young princesses in the early 1910s. Kitty’s journey into self-discovery is one that is credible and can resonate with many readers. I think many of us have gone through that period in our lives where we are wondering what in the hell is it that we are suppose to be doing with our lives. However, it is Dimitri’s story that really shines in this book. His constant struggles, his love for the young princess, the Russin war…so much happens in his life, that almost half the time you are spent holding your breath, and hoping he finally gets the life he deserves.
Gill Paul, the author, has done an amazing job at using real history to tell this fiction story. I for one, did not know about the Romanovs, but after reading the book, I did some research and it is indeed a very fascinating and intriguing part of Russian history. Her ability to also have two very different writing styles to symbolise the two different time period is one that I admire, as it brings you closer to the story. It makes you feel as if you were there, in Russia in the 1910’s watching it all unfold. The characters were few but that meant that Gill was able to bring real depth to them, and you felt a connection to all of them. Every page bought you closer to the their stories, to the point that you felt their pain and joy. I was left in tears in some parts, and that is saying something.
I will definitely recommend this book. Not only as a holiday read, but just as a great book overall. A 4 out of 5.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it?