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Tatiana and Alexander Hardcover – 2005
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A sequel to The Bronze Horseman, this story takes us on a journey across the world to create a heartrendingly beautiful and passionate love story.
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Tatiana and Alexander is the second book of The Bronze Horseman series, so, if you haven’t read the first book, you might want to reconsider reading this review.
Tatiana Metanova had escaped the Soviet Union. She had survived the blockade. She had survived losing her family. She survived through the hunger, the desperation. She survived losing the last bit of hope, that one thing that kept her heart beating. Alexander. Or at least, that’s what everyone kept telling her. You need to move on. You need to move on. You need to move on. Tatiana believed she needed to move on too, but how could she? When part of her had stayed in Morozovo. How could she, when her heart couldn’t truly believe what her mind kept telling her. Alexander is dead. But, what about Orbeli? Tatiana is now in New York, working at Ellis Island, taking care of her beautiful baby boy, Anthony. He’s the one that’s keeping her alive. And hope.
“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.”
Alexander was still where he was left behind. And then, he wasn’t. He barely escaped death by the hands of the Soviets, but he didn’t escape the war, the accusations, the constant threats. He became a prisoner of the Soviet Union and no matter how much he tried, he couldn’t get out. But, if Tatiana got out, he would too. Eventually. Someday. Hopefully.
This book, oh my God, this book. If I thought The Bronze Horseman was good, this was well beyond that. I loved it even more. In this book, we have more of both Tatiana’s and Alexander’s POVs. We get more Alexander. We get more Tania. We get Anthony and his iceee kweeem. This is truly Tatiana’s and Alexander’s story. They have been separated by everything in their lives. They each have ghosts to face, some of them they have to fight to stay back; while some other they have to do whatever they can to hold on to. Years pass and they both keep surviving.
This is, in fact, a love story, the continuation of it actually… but it’s a story about how two people who love each other deeply, find their way back to the other. This is about how they fight and they trust and they hope, they’ll get back to the other. Problems come and keep coming, and sometimes you wonder… when is enough, enough? Will they make it? Will this get any easier? You’ll have to draw your own conclusion, but I’m pretty sure about mine.
Tania, Tania, Tania. What a crazy girl. She’s the craziest of them all and the one who has more courage. She is one of the toughest girls. She’s smart and she understands and she feels so deeply, she doesn’t just love, she adores. She doesn’t just live, she breathes, tastes, sees, experiences life. She doesn’t just trust, she believes with all her heart that she’ll find a way, that she can do whatever her mind is set to do. And she does it. The way she sees and understands life, is something special, her vision is one of a kind. In this book, you see her struggle. Yes, in this book, she’s surviving, barely living but you still see her strength. You’ll never doubt she’ll do whatever she needs to do, whatever there is to do, to save him. To save the one who save her. To be with the one she loves most.
Alexander. How can someone not love him? It is impossible. The way he thinks, the way he feels. It’s always too much. So much love, it hurts. So much passion and devotion, it breaks your heart and fixes it. In this book, we get a lot of time to get to know him. To see him and feel him, his pain, his love, in such a way that you’ll have no other choice but to understand his reasons of his desperation to survive. His real story is fascinating, everything that he is, it’s because of everything he’s been through since he was a boy. He grew up too much, too fast. Everything he knew was taken away from him too many times to count, and he had to do with what he had. He learned to be on his own, to be his own man, to believe in whatever he wanted.
“Live as if you have faith,” she said, “and faith shall be given to you.”
He’s tough, he’s passionate, he’s sweet, he’s romantic, he’s volatile, he’s intense. He is too much. But he is Shura.
Orbeli. Orbeli. Orbeli. Remember to never forget. Remember to wait. Remember to live. Remember to be happy. Remember to love. Remember that the one who loves you, will come back. That’s what it means to me.
All I’ve said doesn’t even come close to explain how much I loved this book, because even though yes, it is a love story, it involves a lot of other factors, characters, situations, that makes the story even more interesting. There’s love, there’s betrayal, there’s kindness, there’s romance, there’s desperation. This is the kind of book you can’t put down, not even for a second. It’s the kind of book you devour because you need to know.
Tatiana is so resilient and clever and loyal. But she's stuck. She's doing her best to make a good life in New York for herself and her son, Anthony, but that niggle of doubt is always there that her Shura lied to her, that he's still alive and needs her. She struggles between blindly marching back into Russia to demand answers and letting him go so she can find a bit of happiness again.
Alexander is, in fact, still alive. He's almost as lucky as Tatiana is. He survived his trial and was thrown back into the war. He also struggles with throwing himself into missions to keep his mind from worrying if Tatiana made it to America, hoping to end his agony, and staying alive long enough to keep his promise to find her.
Years pass and their reunion was epic. Simons teased us for so long but the tension was all worth it in the end. I'm looking forward to diving into book three. I'm sure they'll have all new struggles dealing with normalcy. Fantastic sequel. I loved it!
Instead of reviewing each book individually - I will just say that as a group they definitely tell a very complete & complex story of 2 people who fall in love and who undertake a lot of adventures and situations like champions.
Tatiana is a young fearless girl who is extremely loyal to her parents, sister and brother....and to Alexander, her soldier boyfriend. The book is a like a lot of short stories about their lives put together so you can get a better picture of who they are & how they came to feel and act the way they do.
Alexander & Tatiana eventually get married and have 30 days of living together free & happy before he has to return to being a soldier & to war. This is where their love grows & becomes the foundation of their relationship.
Of course then they are separated by the war. Will they find one another again? What happens to each of them during their time apart. How does it change them and mature them? These are some of the questions that are dealt with in this book.
You have to read this book to get to the next part. The 3rd book is my favorite because you get to find out how the rest of their life goes.