Title: The Storyteller
Author: Kathryn Williams
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Source: Once Upon a Book Club Box
Release Date: January 11, 2022
This story follows a teenage girl’s quest to uncover the truth behind her secretive great aunt Anna, who just might be the long lost Russian princess Anastasia.
It’s not every day you discover you might be related to Anastasia…or that the tragic princess actually survived her assassination attempt and has been living as the woman you know as Aunt Anna.
For Jess Morgan, who is growing tired of living her life to please everyone else, discovering her late aunt’s diaries shows her she’s not the only one struggling to hide who she really is. But was her aunt truly a Romanov princess? Or is this some elaborate hoax?
With the help of a supremely dorky, but undeniably cute, local college student named Evan, Jess digs into the century-old mystery.
But soon Jess realizes there’s another, bigger truth waiting to be revealed: Jess Morgan. Because if she’s learned anything from Aunt Anna, it’s that only you can write your own story.
In 2007, while Jess Morgan is helping her mom clean out her great-great aunt’s house a couple of years after she died, she finds an old trunk full of diaries. They’re all written in Russian, so she has to find a translator. Evan, a local college student accepts the job of translating them. However, they soon discover that the journals were written by Anastasia Romanov, who was supposedly killed with her family in 1918. Jess has to know if her aunt really was the Russian Princess, so she must do her own research to figure this out. Meanwhile, she has drama with her best friend, her boyfriend, and her parents. Jess uses her investigation into her great-great aunt to distract herself from the other problems in her life.
The story about Anastasia Romanov is fascinating. For some reason, throughout the 20th century, there have been many women who claimed to be her. One popular impersonator, Anna Anderson, was mentioned in this story. The main question in this story is whether Jess’s great-great aunt Anna really was Anastasia Romanov.
The setting of 2007 is important to this story. There was a key discovery made in the Romanov mystery in that year. I won’t give it away in case it spoils the story. It cleared up a lot of questions I had about the story. I was worried the ending would be completely made up, but it followed the facts of the true story of Anastasia Romanov quite faithfully.
The Storyteller is a great YA mystery!
What to read next:
Romanov by Nadine Brandes
Have you read The Storyteller? What did you think of it?