From goodreads: Through years of war and devastation, Tatiana and Alexander suffered the worst the twentieth century had to offer. Miraculously reunited in America, they now have a beautiful son, Anthony, the gift of a love strong enough to survive the most terrible upheavals. Though they are still young, the ordeals they endured have changed them–and after living apart in a world laid waste, they must now find a way to live together in postwar America.
With the Cold War rising, dark forces at work in their adopted country threaten their lives, their family, and their hard-won peace. To regain the happiness they once knew, to wash away the lingering pain of the past, two lovers grown distant must somehow forge a new life . . .or watch the ghosts of their yesterdays destroy their firstborn son.
The Summer Garden . . . their odyssey is just beginning.
Sometimes a series comes along and you aren’t sure what to expect but then before you know it, your world has been rocked off its axis and that’s me at this very moment. I’ve been reading this series for a little over two weeks and I love Shura and Tatia as if they were part of my family.
“Tatia”, he calls for her. “Tatiana, Tania, Tiasha…”
The Summer Garden is the perfect book in every absolute way. Perfect but tough to read because they struggled as a couple and I felt their anger, their insecurity, I felt their unspoken words, I felt their love for each other…I. FELT. IT. ALL. The decisions they made as individuals and as a couple would haunt them throughout their life and at times, it left them broken as it did me. Am I being dramatic? Maybe but I know I’m not alone in feeling this way.
“I want amnesia! I want a fucking lobotomy. Could I please never think again? Look what’s happened to us, us, Tania. Don’t you remember how we used to be? Just look what’s happened.”
Book one was pure innocence and the way the fell in love with each other was completely beautiful and breathtaking. Book two was about survival and no matter how torn apart they were, their unyielding love continued to grow. The Summer Garden is about the loss of innocence and that little fact broke my heart because they became different people but their core was still very much the same. It was a journey of healing and the ability to trust each other despite all the skeletons lurking in their proverbial closets. This was a book about life, plain and simple.
“Alexander, you broke my heart. But for carrying me on your back, for pulling my dying sled, for giving me your last bread, for the body you destroyed for me, for the son you have given me, for the twenty-nine days we lived like Red Birds of Paradise, for all our Naples sands and Napa wines, for all the days you have been my first and last breath, for Orbeli- I will forgive you. ”
Alexander was not the same man and we see that loss of who he once was towards the tail end of book two; I was worried that I wouldn’t see the Shura I fell in love with but sure enough he starts to heal. Frankly, there were a few times when I wanted to step inside this book and shake Alexander and Tatiana because some of their decisions were jaw-dropping moments for me but that’s what made this book so exceptional, it was completely “real”.
“I love you. I’m blind for you, wild for you. Sick with you. I told you that our first night together when I asked you to marry me, I am telling you now. Everything that’s happened to us, everything, is because I crossed the street for you. I worship you. You know that through and through…”
Paullina Simons has written a beautiful and EPIC conclusion to The Bronze Horseman and you will feel emotionally and mentally stressed-out but at the same time, incredibly satisfied. She weaves the past and present in way that reminds the readers, Alexander and Tatiana are still very much the same people who fell in love in Leningrad. The love that binds them together is a force to be reckoned with and that tie cannot be broken despite the challenges they faced as a couple. The flashback sequences were some of my favorite moments and at times I felt as though I was meeting Alexander for the very first time…thank goodness Alexander crossed the street for Tatiana!!!
“To cross the street. To follow her. And she will give your life meaning, she will save you. Yes, yes-to cross.”
I feel a bit lost right now and I’m not sure that I can read anything else at the moment because my mind keeps going back to Shura and Tatia. My heart kept beating faster and faster with every word I read throughout this entire series. While I didn’t want this series to end, the only comfort I have is knowing that I can re-read all three books at any moment. This is by far an EPIC trilogy and this is romance at its finest. Don’t wait a moment longer to invest in these books and while they’re pricey…you won’t regret it!