Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The Bronze horseman - Paullina Simons

This is one of my all time favourite books. My copy of it is worn with deep creases etched into the spine and the pages dog earred, the pages which were once pure white are now coloured. In my opinion, this is a modern day Romeo and Juliet story - except possibly more relatible - it contains the same restrained passion, the love that can never be.

Set in World War Two Russia The Bronze Horseman tells the story of Tatiana Metanova, a seventeen year old girl who meets the handsome soldier Alexander on the first day of war. There is an attraction between them which is ignited from their first meeting. There's just one problem: Alexander is already entangled with Tatiana's older sister Dasha. Mix in Dimitri, Alexander's weasely best friend who sets his sights on Tatiana. Add to this the violence of the waging war and their love seems impossible.

Their relationship is an intense push/pull situation with Alexander trying to do the right thing and the noble thing and protect Tatiana and her family and Tatiana's unwavering loyalty to Dasha. Add to their already strained relationship the secret Alexander is harbouring; a secret he's endeavoured to share with Tatiana (and Dimitri, who uses it as blackmail material). It's hard enough to keep romance alive without the added burden of just trying to survive, to just stay alive.

Paullina Simons has written a story which is just the right mix of historical fact and description, drama, action and romance. The prose is so well written and the descriptions are so clear and rich that it seems as though you are right there in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) with Tatiana and Alexander, that you are right there witnessing their every argument, every rushed, secret kiss, their hushed discussions and their every sly look and touch.

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