If you’re interested in the Anastasia/Anna Anderson saga, you might or might not want to read this book, depending on how you feel about it. If you love the fairy tale story of a princess, whose name ironically means “Resurrection,” who rose from the ashes of her family’s destruction, and like to believe in it despite the DNA evidence, be forewarned, this book is going to puncture your beautiful balloon.
This is one of those books that basically tells you everything you heard or believed before has been greatly exaggerated or is completely wrong. If you read the previous Anastasia biographies by Peter Kurth and James Blair Lovell, it’s really disillusioning in comparison. It will make you feel like anyone who ever believed this story was an idiot, so in love with the ideal of a surviving Romanov princess that they were willing to believe, overlook, or excuse anything.
On the other hand, if you’re interested in how a Polish factory worker named Franziska Schanzkowska emerged from a suicidal jump into an icy Berlin canal to become the greatest royal imposter of all time, this book is right up your alley and contains loads of new information about her that, as far as I know, hasn’t been published in a book before, and I try to read everything about Anastasia/Anna Anderson.
The book is well written and thoroughly engrossing, so readers shouldn’t feel like shooting the messengers because we don’t like what they tell us.