I don’t even know where to begin when talking about The Bronze Horseman trilogy. It is so meaningful to me that I am scared to even recommend it for fear you’d hate it and our friendship would have to cease (this is half sarcasm, half serious). The epic love story of Tatiana and Alexander was so well done by Paullina Simons, that the ending left me sobbing because I was so sad to see its conclusion.
The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons
Series: The Bronze Horseman #3
Published by HarperCollins on January 1st 1970
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The Magnificent Conclusion to the Timeless Epic Saga
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.
It’s no secret that The Bronze Horseman, the first in the trilogy, is likely one of my favorite books of all time. It had everything I need in a book, and the heartbreak in it killed me.
Then came the second book in the series, Tatiana and Alexander. It wasn’t as gripping as the first, but at this point I was so invested in their love story I couldn’t not read it.
Finally, The Summer Garden. The last book in the trilogy. It was most definitely slow paced at times, and there were things that I felt could have been left out. It took me forever (over 3 weeks!) to get through this book. But again, I couldn’t not read it. I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO TATIANA AND ALEXANDER. And truthfully, even the more slow/uninteresting scenes still kept my interest, because at this point I was so invested in these two I didn’t care if I was just reading about them sitting on the couch — I just had to read about them.
But oh my gosh, you guys. Slogging through that beast of a book was 100% worth it. I think it dawned on me somewhere in the last 200 pages that this book was actually going to end. Tatiana and Alexander’s story would soon be over. That’s when I started spontaneously crying while reading (this happened on numerous occasions). Imagine my poor husband’s surprise when I would suddenly start balling and murmuring incoherently that I didn’t want it to end.
“Is something sad happening?”
“No.” *sob* “It’s happy right now.” *sob* “I just am so sad.” *sob* “It can’t end.” *sob*
After reading over 2000 pages of Tatiana and Alexander’s epic love story, you feel like you’ve been with them for their entire life. Saying goodbye was so, so hard, but it was also so, so, so perfect. Paullina Simons could not have ended the trilogy better (seriously, those last few pages are pure GOLD!!!!!).
I was going to give this book 3.5-4 stars before I finished it, but the ending just slayed me and brought it right up to 5 stars, because at the end of the day – this is a 5-star trilogy for me, even if it wasn’t perfect 100% of the time.
I have said this before but it doesn’t hurt to say it again: If you like historical fiction and if you like love stories, YOU MUST READ THIS SERIES. I promise you it is worth it.