The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons

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RATING: 4.5/5

BLURB: “Tatiana and Alexander have suffered the worst the twentieth century had to offer. Now, after years of separation, they are miraculously reunited in America, the land of their dreams. They have a beautiful son, Anthony. They have proved to each other that their love is greater than the vast evil of the world…but they are strangers. In the climate of fear and mistrust of the Cold War, forces are at work in the US that threaten their life and their family. Can they make a new life for themselved and find happiness in this new land? Or will the ghosts of yesterday reach out to touch even the destiny of their firstborn son?”

REVIEW: I have been completely blown away by the Bronze Horseman Trilogy and, as such, was VERY excited to read this, the final installment in the series (though I admit, I’m definitely sad that it’s all over!). In this novel, Tatiana and Alexander are finally safe in America, ready to build a new life together as a proper family with their young son, Anthony. What neither of them is prepared for, however, is the huge physical and emotional impact that the war years have had on both themselves individually and on their relationship. Unable to fully understand each other’s experiences and sufferings, yet unable to move past them, Tatiana and Alexander find themselves stuck in a sort of limbo, moving from place to place across America as nowhere seems to ever feel like home. With this new life comes new secrets, new problems, and most importantly some new enemies – including a woman who tempts Alexander astray (I was so angry and felt so betrayed when I read this part of the novel that I couldn’t bear to read another word for two full days) and men who are determined to turn Alexander into the kind of man he never wanted to be – one of whom is equally as determined to get to Tatiana, at all costs. This novel takes us throughout the lives of Tatiana and Alexander, experiencing these new d0mestic, economic and personal struggles alongside them, and also allows us to witness Anthony’s growing up. As history begins to repeat itself by dragging an ambitious Anthony into the Vietnam war, Tatiana and Alexander find themselves facing the greatest test yet of their new lives – how to save their son from the fate they kept him from for so many years. This book is an amazing conclusion to an epic, brilliant and truly breathtaking trilogy, leaving the reader with the kind of satisfying ending that, back when reading ‘The Bronze Horseman’, we as readers would never have dreamed to be possible. I cannot describe to you how glad I am that this trilogy was recommend it to me, and nor can I pass on that recommendation highly enough. These books moved me to tears more times than I can count, and not just tears of sadness, either; tears of anger, relief and happiness were all part of my reading process as well. Simons’ writing style is elegant, beautifully descriptive, heavily detailed and constantly gripping. I have always been able to imagine the tales that this series has told so vividly because of her writing, which I feel definitely contributes to the major emotional impact this trilogy has had on me. I have genuinely found reading this series to be a process that has changed my view of the world and made me see so many things differently, and I will undoubtedly come back to read these books again and again.

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One thought on “The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons

  1. Pingback: Top Ten Books of 2016 | Coffee, Books and Paris

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