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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 LeningradYet 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


10 thoughts on “The Bronze Horseman

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    Seeing how highly rated “The Bronze Horseman” is I guess I’ll be one of those very few who don’t care for this book and brace myself for negative backlash Oh well I just can’t stop myself from writing this reviewFirst of all I am not sure why people love this story so much when there are so much better booksmovies out there about lovers separated by war “Atonement” Russia during its communist era “Doctor Zhivago” escape from Soviet Russia “EastWest” I truly can’t find a grain of the excellence everybody is talking about in reviews posted on this websiteThe book starts well enough a very young girl eating ice cream meets a soldier at a bus stop They instantly fall for each other They start meeting every day walking and talking for hours I must admit this part is quite entrancing all these emotions and Tatiana obsessing over Alexander’s every word every glance every touch I suppose I am a sucker for extended foreplay However the interest starts vanishing once you read for the 50th time which bus they take how many kilometers they walk what streets they decide to walk along this time etc I guess Paullina Simmons must have done a lot of research about Leningrad and wrote her book with a map of the city nearby but this is not the kind of detail that adds to the storyThe next blow comes when we learn that Alexander Oh my is the man Tatiana’s sister Dasha is madly in love and sleeps on regular basis with Tatiana the tender hearted martyr she is decides to give up her love for Alexander for the sake of her beloved sister Which would be OK I guess every epic love story has to have some kind of obstacle for lovers to overcome if we don’t learn later that Dasha is a self centered tramp who also physically abuses Tatiana Does Dasha deserve Tatiana’s sacrifice? No she doesn’t therefore Tatiana’s sacrifice is pretty much pointless and even silly Dimitri is a convincing “obstacle” but even he I am sure of it wouldn’t make passes on Tatiana if Alexander simply marries her What I am getting at is that the obstacles standing between our lovers are laughable at best and do not justify 400 pages worth of angst This fateful meeting is followed by another 100 pages of repetitive ramble How many times can I possibly enjoy reading about Alexander and Dimitri coming over to Tatiana’s house having dinner and drinking vodka Tatiana watching Alexander with angst Alexander seating with unreadable expression Alexander getting it on with Dasha while Tatiana is groped outside by Dimitri etc My answer is not many it wears off after the second timeSame goes for the next 200 pages in a very small font depicting blockade of Leningrad where the same thing happens over and over again Tatiana goes out to get her family’s food rations she is cold and in danger all the time she comes home and portions the food 1 kg 500 g 300 g 250 g of bread etc everybody eats they are hungry they go to sleep Same thing happens the next day and next and next until someone dies The honeymoon part is written in exactly the same way Another 100 pages of the same scenario Tatiana and Alexander make love talk cheesy rubbish Tatiana makes cabbage piespotato pancakesmushrooms they make love talk rubbish swim Alexander attempts to build something Tatiana flirts they make love again cabbage pies Come on enough alreadySome irritating things Tatiana’s magical recovery from broken leg and 3 ribs in a matter of weeks her ability to speak and understand English after flipping through English Russian dictionary Marina’s pointless presence in the story Tatiana’s martyrdom Alexander’s “perfection” in comparison to Russian men who according to Simmons are all smelly with dirty fingernails and oblivious to violence against womenBottom line is this book could have been much better with 300 pages of repetitive nonsense edited out because ultimately it has a decent story of love and survival in difficult circumstances but unfortunately it got buried under a mountain of cheeseNeedless to say I will not be reading the sequels or any other books by this author