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The Bronze Horseman Paperback – September 8, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in her native St. Petersburg, Russia, Simons's latest thick novel (after Tully, etc.) focuses on a WWII love affair. As the story opens, Tatiana, the youngest member of the Metanova family, is just 17; she still shares a bed with her older sister, Dasha. Not long after the country goes to war with Germany, Tatiana meets Alexander, a soldier, and sparks fly. It turns out, however, that Alexander is the same soldier Dasha has been crowing about. Possessed of a strong sense of family loyalty, and living under conditions that permit no privacy, Tatiana refuses to interfere with her sister's happiness, but the attraction between Tatiana and Alexander proves too powerful. Complicating matters, another soldier, Dimitri, has information that could destroy Alexander, and Dimitri likes Tatiana, too. In order to protect both Dasha's feelings and Alexander's life, the star-crossed lovers become part of a deceptive quadrangle as war intensifies around them. Taking her title from a tragic poem by Alexandr Pushkin, Simons skillfully highlights the ironies of the socialist utopia. Despite the novel's sprawling length and its seemingly epic scope, the nearly single-minded focus on dialogue between Tatiana and Alexander leaves other character development shortchanged and the reader with the impression of a peculiarly tiny canvas. Nave and occupying the Cinderella role in her family, Tatiana is certainly a survivor though one who finally outstays her welcome. While her love story is often both tender and fierce, it is also overwrought and prolonged past the breaking point. (June)Forecast: An advertising blitz, five-city author tour and glamorous jacket may distract readers from the novel's shortcomings and ensure short-term success (foreign rights have been sold in 10 countries), but this is not the Russian Thorn Birds the publisher hopes it will be.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
In 1941 Leningrad, two sisters share everything including a passion for Red Army officer Alexander. Simons, the author of Tully and other titles, was born and raised in St. Petersburg.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
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Wow. This story was compelling and complex. Simons' writing was superb. She had me right there. I loved reading about the history of the war from the Russian pov. I felt like I was in Leningrad during WWII watching Tatiana and Alexander fall in love through secrecy, through poverty, through starvation, through people trying to keep them apart. Their love was the one bright spot while their world was crumbling around them.
Tatiana was an amazing heroine. She was a slip of a girl, just seventeen years old. Yet she was strong, and generous, and clever, and brave, and always an optimist while her family was anything but. She just kicked butt all the way to the end. She's a survivor and I loved her.
Alexander is a Russian officer. He's courageous, and complicated, and hot-headed, and he loves Tatiana fiercely. But they definitely have obstacles. A major one being Dimitri. He is now up there with Joffrey Baratheon and Black Jack Randall as the most vile human beings in fiction.
My only complaint about this book is the monotony. I felt there were a number of scenes where the author droned on and on. I wanted her to move on. It could have been much shorter. Otherwise, I thought it was perfect. I'm looking forward to diving in to book two.
An absolute Favorite!
I don't know how it took me so long to discover this book but my words could never do this beautiful story justice.
I fell in love with this book! It's truly unique and beautifully tragic. My heart squeezed in my chest so often for Tatiana and Alexander. For all that they had each been through and continued to go through. Not only was there a war happening all around them, but they had their own war to figure out where family & friends were concerned.
The love between these two was so raw, so breathtaking. A love that every woman yearns for, a love that's beautiful in every aspect.
I am so anxious to start book two, I have to know what is to come next in this beautifully written story. What will come of Alexander, what will be of their love story? I need to know!
If someone asked me if I would recommend this book, my answer would be a thousand times yes!
This story is too much, it is a lot to take in. Simply put, one of the best.
This is a very long story and the reader lives with the characters day in and day out, not for every reader. Exhausting at times but perhaps necessary to understand and feel what life was like for the Russian people during this time. The Bronze Horseman as well as The Winter Garden would benefit students studying this time period. Eye opening. The characters are real and complex (with all their strengths and weaknesses). At times I wanted to shake the characters into action, felt disgust at their behavior, and cheered them on to be strong and live.
Overall well written and developed. Many times I wanted to skip ahead as I would if I had been reading my own life story, however without life’s little moments we wouldn’t truly appreciate the wondrous ones. Definitely recommend.
Most recent customer reviews
Leaves you wondering what happened to the characters next. Very well written.