My favourite genre to read will always be historical romances. I just love how the past can turn be a muse for the greatest love stories and The Secret Wife is no exception. This is the first novel I’ve read by Gill Paul and I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy it the way I did but I’m so glad that I bought it.
The story follows Kitty, who lives in North London (yay North London’s on the map!) after she finds out about the betrayal of her husband. She traces back her ancestry to America and lives in her great-grandfathers disused cabin while taking a much needed break. This is where things get really good! Her great grandfather happened to be in possession of a diary…Duchess Tatiana Romanov of Russia’s diary.
The diary sets the scene for the love affair between Tatiana and Dmitri – Kitty’s same great grandfather – and tells of the life they lead and the many problems they faced due to love.
I have never really learnt about Russian history and to be honest I never even knew Duchess Tatiana existed but she did and this novel is based on these real life people which makes it all the more compelling!
Both Dmitri and Tatiana, along with the Emperor and Empress of Russia and their children have such an interesting story and while it ends in death, the story that Paul has plotted is so beautifully written that I, like her, hope her version is true and does come to light one day!
This is a book so well researched and written that it’s made me want to explore Russian aristocracy because I feel as though I am part of the lives of those whose story I was briefly let into.