Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
I loved this book so much! It has been so long since I've read something that has affected me this deeply. I experienced a huge range of emotions while making my way through this tale. The story of Tatiana and Alexander is truly heartbreaking, wonderful, beautiful, sad and breathtaking. I couldn't stop reading it, and yet I had to set it down because my heart couldn't take another page. Incredible.
Their love grew organically enough to be 100% believable, and yet so intensely that you couldn't help but to be wrapped up in it. Unlike a typical romance, this was not an overnight love... but it was overwhelming and passionate and the kind you can't live without. I adored it.
Alexander was, simply, perfection. From the moment we meet him standing across the street watching Tania eat her ice cream, to the very last pages of the book, I ate him up and fell a little in love with him myself. Perfection.
I found Tatiana's character very difficult to peg. In the opening pages of the story, I thought she was a young child. Through her survival struggle in Leningrad, she seemed much older, and then at the cabin by the river, she seemed like that child again. It was really interesting how her circumstances changed her actions and reactions. When she needed to grow up, she could, but she could still find that young girl when she needed to.
Beyond the epic love story though, there was the story of Leningrad and a story of war. That, on its own, was heartbreaking to read about. The detail made the story seem to so real that I found myself actually dreaming about some of the horrors faced by those trying to survive the war in Leningrad. It had some of the same elements of one of my deepest fears- the end of the world. I know that sounds dramatic, but I'm terrified of that feeling of your whole world crashing down on you, and simply waiting to die in surroundings that were once familiar and full of life. That's the ultimate in fear for me and they were living it in Leningrad.
In all, the writing is superb, the story is excellent, the characters are wonderful, and the love is heart wrenching. I loved this book and I can't wait to dive in to the next.