The Bronze Horseman Book Review

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I finished The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons tonight. I wrote that, folded my hands on the desk and sighed. How does one accurately explain how I feel about this book? I have wanted to read this book for a while and I had a gift card from Christmas so I put it on my Nook. I figured that if I didn’t like it, I could always delete it off. But I have a hard time getting rid of books, even if they’re electronic. If you haven’t heard about this book, here’s what it’s about.

The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler’s armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.

Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana–and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander’s impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects–a secret as devastating as the war itself–as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.

For future reference, for this post, there will be spoilers.

I have a hard time with how I feel about this book. Remember my last post where I complain that characters in books seem to fall in love immediately? This book started that rant inside me. They ran into each other kind of by accident and then they walk a few times and bam, they’re in love. It’s so quick. Who falls in love that quick? Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely love story with real problems, obstacles and there are fights between the two. But here’s my problems. First Tatiana seemed like the stupidest person alive, really immature and not ready to be in a serious relationship and then by the end of the book she was saint like and giving birth. I also felt that if they talked about her moaning during sex one more time I would have removed her voice box. Get the picture, don’t be so loud when there’s danger of people hearing you and killing the love of your life. She must have amazing breasts with how much Alexander wanted to be attached to them. But maybe he’s just a guy that likes breasts. I don’t know. How many names does that girl go by? That would drive me insane.

Alexander seems to be a great guy, does some protecting and standing up for Tatiana, loves her a lot. Good for him. But let’s really think about this. Alexander gets engaged to Dasha, Tatiana’s sister. HER SISTER! I get that characters need flaws, any kind of flaws, but really? You get engaged to the sister and the world is supposed to be okay? It would have been over for me. And he must be one hell of a lover to make Tatiana that noisy with her moaning. I did get a little annoyed with Alexander telling Tatiana to stay. Get the picture that there’s a chance she won’t stay.

I did feel bad for Tatiana. She lost her entire family. I would be devastated if I lost my family. At one point I wondered if she matured way to quickly. Then I thought about it. This is a country in war. This is a country in war that isn’t America, in the 1940’s and these people are more politically knowledgeable than I am. (or at least Alexander is) A person is going to grow up fast. So was it growing up to quick? Maybe, maybe not.

Marina, the cousin, was pointless. Someone want to explain why she was in the book?

I was fascinated by the Dimitri character. What bad thing was he going to do next? Was he going to make a pass at Tatiana or was he going to out Alexander’s secret. He is definitely a Jafar to Alexander’s Aladdin. No. Wait. That’s not an accurate analogy. Dimitri would have been the Jafar if Jafar was Aladdin’s friend-like person. What would be a good analogy for that? I don’t usually have a positive fascination with the “villain” of a story, but, I want to know why Dimitri is how he is. What makes him tick? I don’t know, but I want to know. As much of a fan I wasn’t of Tatiana’s, I did want to punch him when he made a “pass” at her near the beginning of the book.

The writing had some ups. There were some gems of lines that kept me going through the book. I like WWII history and Russia is interesting. Here are things I highlighted and commented on:

There was a section in the beginning where it talks about how everything was after like, after the revolution, after the worst but before anything good and I commented how interesting that seemed to me.

comment: I think a lot of people don’t understand war like they say they do.

Highlighted: “Really, Papa?” said Tatiana. “Which of your children would you like not to worry about?” pg 16.

There were other things but who really wants my comments and highlighting?

The next book I think I’m going to read is The House Girl by Tara Conklin.

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