- Publisher: Harper
- Format: Paperback | 656 pages
- Dimensions: 197mm x 198mm x 130mm | 450g
- Publication date: 1 April 2005
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0006513220
- ISBN 13: 9780006513223
- Illustrations note: maps
- Sales rank: 751
A magnificent epic of love, war and Russia from the international bestselling author of TULLY and ROAD TO PARADISE Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg. Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. The routine of their hard impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanov family, for Leningrad and particularly for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On that fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young man named Alexander. The family suffers as Hitler's army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn inexorably to each other, but theirs is a love that could tear Tatiana's family apart, and at its heart lies a secret that could mean death to anyone who hears it. Confronted on the one hand by Hitler's vast war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.
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Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad in 1963. As a child she emigrated to Queens, New York, and attended colleges in Long Island. Then she moved to England and attended Essex University, before returning to America. She lives in New York with her husband and children.
By Courteney 13 Jul 2014
This book had me going through a whirl wind of emotions- from utter captivation at the blooming romance between the main characters to wanting to reach into the words in front of me and slap the characters silly, to shake them out of their decisions and impending future.
This novel absolutely resonated with me once I closed that final page. I went through a rather unfortunate phase of withdrawal, knowing there story was not yet finished yet I would have to wait, absorb, adjust (and pop my head into my own reality for a while) before I was re-drawn into their tragic yet captivating story.
Paullina not only invites us into a romance but into a troubling view of war torn Russia when the Nazis invaded. There is a nice complimentary of romance and realism in the circumstances- just proving the talented writings of Paullina.
From the bus bench to the hospital bed, Tatiana and Alexander were drawn together both willingly and by chance. There love was inevitable yet the circumstances that surrounded their story were but trials- showing that love will not protect you but will guide you to strive for a future and for life.
I am now awaiting the second instalment of the series and IÃ¢??m thoroughly looking forward to once again being drawn into the romance that is Alexander and Tatiana.
It demands attention from beginning to end and it most certainly got mine. Definitely a recommend for hopeless romantics out there who also love a bit of historical fiction.
By Dina K. 03 Oct 2013
First of all.. sometimes, I'm not sure of how many stars to give the book.. whether it should be 3, 4 or 5 but right now.. I'm thinking of contacting Goodreads to allow us to post 1000 stars for books that knock your brains out!
Oh my God.. the tears I've shed in this book... the heartache that it caused me!! The sheer anticipation of turning each and every page, 'cause I tell you and I'm really honest here.. sometimes a page turning can make your heart soar to the highest sky then the next page breaks those wings and pulls you to the pits of hell!
This took me around 3 days to finish it.. but seriously.. I don't think I've ever read a more heart-wrenching events than what happened here.. especially since most of it actually happened during the war.. on more than one occasion I had to take small reprieves to the kitchen and the living room and maybe just look out the window to assure myself of where I live and that those events in the story are not actually happening now and that I really don't live in that time or that place...
So, heads up for a lot of tissue-usage and a lot of actual depression.. but still I will never regret reading such a beautiful love story that had its roots nursing in a hellish time..
Go read it... yeah...
By Carly White 22 Apr 2013
Absolutley captivating from beginning to end. This book made me feel every possible emotion. A beautifully written, haunting love story set in war torn Russia.
By Elizabeth 29 Mar 2013
By Carnie 05 Mar 2013
I first read this book in about 2005. It inspired me to take a trip to Russia in 2009 (where I laid under the Bronze Horseman). I then met the author in 2010 and re-read the book. Such a great fiction set in WWII in Russia which not only tells a great love story (who wouldnt get taken by that), but also paints a picture of the suffering, fight and hope that the people had during this time. The other books in the trilogy, whilst very good, were not quite as good as the first, but you still need to read them all to get closer on this great story.
Praise for Paullina Simons Tully 'Pick up this book and prepare to have your emotions wrung so completely you'll be sobbing your heart out one minute and laughing through your tears the next... Read it and weep - literally' Company Tatiana and Alexander 'This has everything a romance glutton could wish for: a bold, talented and dashing hero, a heart-stopping love affair ... It also has - thank goodness - a welcome sense of humour and discernible characters rather than ciphers.' Victoria Moore, Daily Mail The Bronze Horseman 'Pulling off the passionate love story embedded in a truly epic narrative is a difficult thing to do. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind remains the blueprint for the genre, while Tolstoy's War and Peace carries off the literary honours ... it's quickly apparent that the Russian-born author Paullina Simons has the measure of this kind of epic romantic saga ... She is able to make some powerful statements about the durability of the human spirit, but never at the expense of descriptive passages refulgent with power and beauty' Barry Forshaw, amazon
Another emotionally compelling tale that celebrates undying love as two young superheroes overcome bombing raids, starvation, and treacherous friends in Leningrad under siege by the Germans. As in so many other oversized books of its genre, the lovers here are at the mercy of a plot that strains credulity as it ratchets up the tensions and exploits the passions. When Alexander Belov and Tatiana meet in the summer of 1941, he's an officer in the Red Army, while she's a 17-year-old factory worker living in a crowded apartment with her elder sister Dasha, her twin brother Pasha, her parents and grandparents. Alexander is courting Dasha, but Tatiana and he are soon in love. It's a love they can't declare, however, because Alexander has a dangerous secret-and a dangerous friend. Alexander in fact is really an American who, as a child in the early 1930s, came to Russia with his idealistic parents. They soon soured on Communism, and, as the Trials began, were arrested. His mother was shot, his father died in prison, but not before Alexander persuaded classmate Dimitri, whose own father was a prison guard, to allow him to see Dad one last time. In return, Alexander promised to take Dimitri to America whenever they found an opportunity to escape to nearby Finland. But Dimitri, with more lives than a cat, is a bad guy and threatens throughout to betray Alexander whenever Alexander seems to be reneging on their plans. When the siege begins, Tatiana is badly wounded in a bombing attack. Recovered, she starts working at a hospital, and, though her family dies one by one as the food supplies dwindle and winter sets in, she survives. Somehow she escapes the city to enjoy a lovers' idyll with Alexander-only to return to face even graver threats. A page-turner in spite of its clunky and cliche-ridden self. (Kirkus Reviews)