Monday, 31 October 2016

Review: The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simon

The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler's armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander's impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

Paperback, 810 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by William Morrow Paperbacks              

Terri's Thoughts

I am a little late to the party in reading this book.  It has remained on my to be read shelf for years even 
though others have told me I have to read it.  I finally decided to listen to the audio book to experience 
what so many others have raved about.

There is not much that I can say that has not already been said I am sure.  Too be honest, having literally
just completing it, I have too many emotions to try to filter through them all.  This book has touched on
everything I look for in a novel which means it has left me utterly devastated.

First there is a love story that is doomed from the start.  The connection between Tatiana and Alexander
was so deep you could feel it.  Then add to that complexity of war and the hardships of Russia during
this period.  Simon weaves a story so complex that it left me breathless.  The closing chapter is currently
still haunting me.  I will not regurgitate the plot as I think this is a story that must be entered without
any preconceived ideas or expectations.  That is how I went in and I was not disappointed.

If I am to get a little bit critical, I do feel that there were aspects of the story that did not seem to fit in to
the theme of the rest of the novel.  I am trying not to give away any spoilers however this was the sex
that was described in the story.  To keep with the theme, in my opinion, some details should have been
left to the readers imagination and not spelled out as it was.  I found this part of the story long and drawn
out and not really necessary, the amount of detail that is.

That aside, I still have to admit that this book is most likely on my top 5 of all time stories I have read. I
can't believe it has taken me this long to experience it.  It has made me curious about Russia and it has
now been added to my list of places to visit.

If I had to sum this up in one word it would be....sigh....haunting.  A must read for any fan of historical

About the Author

Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad, USSR, in 1963. At the age of ten her family immigrated to the United States. Growing up in Russia Paullina dreamt of someday becoming a writer. Her dream was put on hold as she learned English and overcame the shock of a new culture.

After graduating from university and after various jobs including working as a financial journalist and as a translator Paullina wrote her first novel Tully. Through word of mouth that book was welcomed by readers all over the world.

She continued with more novels, including Red Leaves, Eleven Hours, The Bronze Horseman, The Bridge to Holy Cross (also known as Tatiana and Alexander), The Summer Garden and The Girl in Times Square (also known as Lily). Many of Paullina's novels have reached international bestseller lists


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