The Secret Wife

Written by Gill Paul
Review by Lisa Redmond

Gill Paul’s latest novel is an intriguing blend of two stories in two different eras. A young woman hides away at a cabin inherited from her great-grandfather in upstate New York; Kitty is reeling after discovering her husband’s infidelity and still mourning her parents’ sudden death. The cabin offers her a place to think, and she determines to learn more about the man she inherited it from.

Dmitri Malama is a Russian soldier recovering from an injury in 1914 at Tsarskoe Selo, where he is looked after by Grand Duchess Tatiana who, along with her mother and her sister Olga, is training as a nurse to help the war effort. Dmitri and Tatiana grow close and begin to exchange letters, and gradually we come to understand the connection between Kitty’s family and the Russian royal family.

The Secret Wife is an enthralling and page-turning story linking two intriguing women and the very different lives they lead. This book follows the characters’ journeys across the century from the horror of the First World War and the terrors of the Russian Revolution, to the émigré community of Berlin between the wars, and the hustle and bustle of the mid-century New York publishing scene. It is wonderfully researched and beautifully written. This novel will appeal to fans of Rachel Hore and Lucinda Riley and offers readers a perfect blend of romance and history.