“We walk alone through this world, but if we’re lucky, we have a moment of belonging to something, to someone, that sustains us through a lifetime of loneliness.”
Once upon a time, I was looking for a book to buy at Barnes & Noble. I wanted a big book that would take me a while to read, but one that wasn’t $16.00 (why do print copies of books seem so expensive now? I remember picking up Caroline B. Cooney’s novels for $7.95 back in the day!). I settled on The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. It was a title and author I had never heard of, but I was drawn to the beautiful cover and the synopsis on the back of the book:
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.
Despite my initial draw to the book, it sat on my shelf for quite a while. I just didn’t have the time to sit down and read it. When summer came around, I finally had the opportunity to read it–and boy, did I get sucked in. World War II is a fascinating and complex time, and this book, set during the siege of Leningrad, was a part of the war I had never learned about. I found myself looking up the historical event as I was reading to better understand the time period. People were starving and freezing to death—resorting to eating bread made out of sawdust and burning their own furniture and books to keep fires burning. The rawness and the desperation of the age were brought to life in Simons’ novel. The book isn’t all sadness and pain though. I picked up this book in the fiction section, so I wasn’t prepared for the book’s steamy scenes! There is a passionate romance that will have you yearning for a love like Tatiana and Alexander’s. What’s even more awesome about this book is that there are two more books to read once you’re finished with it: Tatiana and Alexander and The Summer Garden. I bought the second and third books on my kindle immediately after finishing The Bronze Horseman.
While everyone else was talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, I was consumed by the epic love story of Tatiana and Alexander. If you’re looking for a love story where the characters overcome incredible odds, you’ll be hooked on The Bronze Horseman for hours. I highly recommend adding this book (and the entire trilogy) to your summer TBR list.
What love stories have pulled at your heart strings?