This is the story about Jess Morgan, a high school girl who is on a journey of self discovery. She is a writer, but keeps most of her work to herself. Jess finds it hard to believe that she is the girlfriend of a star on the football team Ryan and he chose her. This makes Jess a member of the popular group. To get along with Ryan and his friends Jess pretends to like things she doesn’t and isn’t really true to herself. Jess’s best friend Katie calls her out on it and makes it clear that she is not happy with who Jess has become.
Her father takes her to visit her great aunt Anna, who is in poor health in a nursing home. After Aunt Anna dies Jess is helping to clean out her house when she finds an old trunk filled with her Aunt’s diaries. The diaries are written in Russian so Jess hires Evan Hermann, a local college student majoring in Russian, to help her translate. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that the diaries look like they belong to the lost Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanov of Russia. Could her great aunt have been Anastasia? Jess and Evan (and the reader) are drawn into the story of Anastasia life, her escape from Russia, and how she got to the United States. The translator, Evan, is the opposite of Jess’ boyfriend and as she searches for the truth about her Aunt Jess also starts to look for the truth about herself.
The Storyteller by Kathryn Williams was a fun book. I listened to the audio version of the book and the reader did a good job. I really liked the story from the diaries. It was very well written. However, in the first part of the story, before we get into the diaries, the dialog between Jess and her parents seemed a bit unrealistic, but I’m glad that I stuck with the story as it got much better. It was interesting that there were some quiet parallels that emerged on a personal level between Jess and her Aunt.