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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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To other reviewers who said this book starts slow, I say this: Be patient. This is an epic romance. The story builds and builds until you're on the edge of your seat. I'm quite sure I bit off some fingernails while I was reading it. I know I lost some sleep. I couldn't stop turning the pages, reading all night and all day, completely enthralled. This is a great love story, and yes, it is long, and I love that it is long. It isn't formula romance, it is life and death situations, struggling to survive in times of great historic proportions, a hero who is truly a hero in every sense of the word, a very young heroine who grows and becomes of woman of great courage and strength.
I think there should be a special rating on Amazon for books of this caliber. Five stars does not do it justice. This book stands out as one of the greats that endures the tests of time.
I almost DNF'd it. the first 5% of the book I wanted to jump into the book and shake some sense into Tatiana but eventually I saw what the author was trying to do and I understood what was happening. It was only at that point was I able to get into the story was lost myself in for the 2 days it too me to get through these 800 pages. Still 811 WTF!!!!
Anyway, I flew through the words after I figured out the pace of things and I was expecting to be bawling my eyes out but surprisingly like I was only a slight bit emotional. I was able to feel much, I mean, I felt for the characters and the struggles they had to go through but other than that I was say my overall feelings we average. Alexander did win me over though, his words, gosh his words! I totally understood him whereas Tatiana, I just couldn't find any connection with her.
By the last 25% of the book I started to get irritated a lot and was just wishing it would all just end but I wanted to know how Alexander was going to die so I powered through it all. I was so frustrated I wanted to scream a lot of times. Maybe this story just wasn't one for me, but it was really well written and maybe if I had read it at another time I would have felt differently but sadly I had to read it at a time when I just couldn't get invested. I was so hoping to be sobbing and wanting more of these characters but as it turns out I may not even bother to read the last 2 books.
I'm really disappointed because I was really hoping to love this story, but I was only able to enjoy it for what it was.
While reading, I fluctuated between the ebook and audiobook experience depending on what setting I was in, and at 811 pages via kindle and over 30 hours via audible, this book is no joke. Regardless of the intimidating length, I remained thoroughly engaged throughout and my investment in this story had me watching for every opportunity to pop on my headphones for a few hours. Unfortunately, there were some issues that distracted me from a full 5-star experience; however, the characters appeared to remain consistent in their values, motivations, and flaws throughout which is a feat for a novel of this size, and Paullina Simons has brought respectful attention to Alexander Pushkin's narrative poem by the same name. I was never once bored, I never needed a break, I was absolutely swept up by the romance element, and the popular phrase "all the feels" definitely applies here. Overall, I'm glad I finally read The Bronze Horseman and I plan to continue the series.
My favorite quote:
"All great things worth having require great sacrifice worth giving."
Paullina Simons's The Bronze Horseman series includes the following installments as of December 2017:
#0.5: Children of Liberty
#1: The Bronze Horseman
#2: Tatiana and Alexander
#3: The Summer Garden
#3.5: Tatiana's Table: Tatiana And Alexander's Life Of Food And Love
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!