What day is it?
Wednesday? I must have lost track of time. I started a trilogy two weeks ago, and I’m just now coming up for air. Briefly. I need to find out how this story will end.
I am referring to Paullina Simons’ epic love story of Alexander and Tatiana, beginning with the gripping The Bronze Horseman, followed by the equally compelling second book, Tatiana and Alexander. I flew through twelve hundred pages like it was a novella…in days – forsaking sleep, and a dinner or two, and now I am knee deep in the final installment, The Summer Garden.
As you might already know, I’m not really a book reviewer, per se. There are so many awesome review bloggers out there who take care of that. Once in a while, however, there comes a story that gets so deep under my skin, and absorbed into my thoughts, I feel compelled to mention it.
My last favorite novel was Me Before You by JoJo Moyes, which I inhaled with fervor, before the birth of my blog. I talked the hell out of it to everyone I knew, and was responsible for many book clubs in my neighborhood reading, and discussing, and loving this most unusual, wonderfully told love story.
Now, I’m obsessed with the Bronze Horseman and sequels, a recommendation from a friend (this same friend who got me waxing and spray tanning- she’s a keeper). The last time I was consumed by a trilogy (also recommended by this friend), Christian Grey was teaching an impressionable Anastasia Steele the intricacies of BSDM.
Like most of the female reading community, I was intrigued by 50 Shades of Grey, and though there was controversy about the writing being less than stellar, the subject matter was enthralling, and don’t deny you felt the same way. Hell, I lost my mother for two weeks last year.
We all learned something from Ms. James, who amid the controversy, laughed her way around the globe, meeting fans and depositing truckloads of money into her English bank account. And husbands worldwide were counting their blessings.
But I digress.
Paullina Simons’ epic love story between Alexander Belov, a Red Army soldier, and seventeen-year-old Tatiana Metanova, who meet on the day Hitler invades Russia, is so beautifully developed and captivating, I could do little else until I found out if they would be together, if Tatiana would survive the devastating blockade and starvation of her city, Leningrad, where she lived in close quarters with her family, including her sister, who met and “fell in love” with Alexander first.
Though frustrating at times, with the back-and-forth of Alexander and Tatiana’s innocent, secret meetings, and her private struggle with her loyalties to her sister, while the family struggles against starvation, a winter with no heat, and constant bombings, the writing, the expressions of love between these two characters moved me, sometimes to tears.
My kindle comes with me everywhere. I’m that girl–nose to the screen, reading at the ice rink until my son’s game starts, or on line at the bank, or in the car at school, waiting for pick-up. My favorite time is at the end of the day, nestled in my bed, only turning the light out when my eyes have crossed. And then, in my dreams, I imagine various scenarios of where the plot will take me, all of the different possibilities of what can happen next and in the morning, over coffee, instead of finding out who was killed or raped or got divorced, I might snag a few precious minutes for more.
This love story filled my heart to bursting, shattered it into a million pieces, and filled it again.
Others may feel differently. Others may have read love stories that moved them more. I just found out a friend wasn’t really enthralled by Alexander, or Tatiana, or their story. She’s perfectly entitled to her opinion (even though she’s wrong).
That’s the beauty of writing, and why I do it too. I want to move a reader, to get into her head, and make her want to forego doing anything else just to find out what happens to my characters.
I’ll keep trying. In the meantime, I learn by reading.
Is there anything better than a great book?
I can’t stay…got to get back. They’re waiting for me.