Title: The Bronze Horseman
Author: Paullina Simons
Provided Synopsis: 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.
Review: If you are in search of a book that will consume you, then The Bronze Horseman needs to be added to your to-read pile immediately. I have never come across a book like this. Paullina Simons managed to get me to feel everything that her characters were experiencing. I felt their frustrations. I felt their regrets. I felt their attraction and I felt them fall in love. I felt their joy. I felt their desire. I felt their heartbreak. I felt the ache as they had to live their lives apart and sworn to secrecy. I felt my breath being taken away. I re-read passages numerous times because I could not move on from the beauty of such emotion put into words. The love story of Tatiana and Alexander might be one of the most beautiful that I have ever heard. I lived for their stolen moments. I longed for the world to move out of the way to let them be. I have never experienced such a range of emotions in a book. For that reason alone I would recommend this book to anyone with a romantic heart such as mine.
Beyond the love story, this book also provides a shattering insight into life in Communist Russia during the invasion of the Germans in World War II. I typically do not read much about Russia, so I was actually riveted by the details of bombings, food rationing, the bitter cold, and the communist state. While this is, at it’s heart, a love story, you also get so much more to inhale due to the setting and time period. At 810 pages it is a book that can only be described as an epic; it is slow-burning as it allows you to know these characters and watch them change. This is a story about finding love and having the courage to hold on to it. I am just completely blown away right now. The Bronze Horsemandeserves five stars and more because of the way it made me feel.