How do I love thee? Let me count the ways….
‘Ask yourself these three questions, Tatiana Metanova, and you will know who you are. Ask: what do you believe in? What do you hope for? But most important – ask, what do you love?”
So how do you possibly review a book that you love SO much that there are no words to explain? I have a feeling this will be a jumbled, emotional post that won’t make sense and will quite possibly leave me in tears at the end. So sit back, relax, and maybe grab some Kleenex because I will not hold back my declaration of love.
So in an attempt to try to remain spoiler free for those that are interested in reading this book I will just give you a little snippet from the book:
“It was a perfect day. For five minutes there was no war, and it was just a glorious Sunday in a Leningrad June. When Tatiana looked up from her ice cream, she saw a soldier staring at her from across the street. …. Tatiana normally would have glanced past him down the street and moved on, except that this soldier was standing across the street and staring at her with an expression Tatiana had never seen before. She stopped eating her ice cream. Her side of the street was already in the shade, but the side where he stood swam in the northern afternoon light. Tatiana stared back at him for just a moment, and in the moment of looking into his face, something moved inside her; moved she would have liked to say imperceptibly, but that wasn’t quite the case. It was as if her heart started pumping blood through all four chambers at once, pouring into her lungs and flooding it through her body. She blinked and felt her breath become shorter.”
And that is how my love affair with Tatiana, and Alexander began. Now this might just seem like your run of the mill war/love story but it is so FAR beyond that! Let me just explain one of the main reasons I love this story so much:
Tatiana Metanova. She is by far one of the greatest characters EVER written. This book starts out and she is just an ordinary girl. She is young and naive and is excited about the war approaching upon her, but she grows up so fast. She becomes this selflessly strong woman that carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. What I find disappointing in books these days is the lack of strong female characters. Tatiana is force to be reckoned with. Reading about Tatiana and all that she faced and how she handled herself, and those around her, it was awe inspiring and heartbreaking all at once. You wanted her to be selfish and take what was hers. Not that she did not experience her own moments of weakness, but she tried so hard to put everyone else ahead of herself. Her intentions left her with very little comfort for herself. And that leads me to the next reason I LOVE this book:
(Henry Cavil is Alexander in my mind)
Alexander fell for the young beautiful Tatiana the moment he lays eyes on her. The town was full of people rushing and worried about war and here he was captivated by little Tatiana, sitting on a bench and enjoying her ice cream without a care in the world. Alexander is quite possibly the love of my life. He is strong and handsome and smart and he loves so fiercely. Due to circumstances (which I don’t want to point out) him and Tatiana had the odds stacked against them. With not only the war getting in the way there are people that stand between them. Through it all Alexander cannot leave Tatiana alone.
“Tatiana said. “Go on with Dasha. She is right for you. She is a woman and I’m-” “Blind!”, Alexander exclaimed. Tatiana stood, desolately failing in the battle of her heart. “Oh, Alexander. What do you want from me…” “Everything”, he whispered fiercely.”
Despite the obstacles in their way Alexander finds ways to take care of Tatiana and those dearest to her. He never gives up on her. He sees how selfless Tatiana is and is constantly trying to break her of the habit. And obviously the reason I love this book so much: the love between Tatiana and Alexander.
I’m not sure words can do justice to the love shared between them. You feel their longing. You feel their sorrow. You feel how impossible their love is. You sit on edge for the moments they share. The glances they sneak. The moments their arms brush against each other.
“Dear God, Tatiana prayed in bed that night, turning to the wall and pulling the white sheet and the thin brown blanket over herself. If you are there somewhere, please teach me how to hide what I never knew how to show.”
I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it.
This book is not the easiest of reads and I think that is why it’s my favorite. You feel everything the characters are feeling. You feel the hunger, the loneliness, the desperation, the heartbreak of war.
“We walk alone through this world, but if we’re lucky, we have a moment of belonging to something, to someone, that sustains us through a lifetime of loneliness.”
With all the pain in this book there is so much hope. I felt hope after reading this. Yes I cried like a child for many hours but it was worth it. I never thought a book would touch my heart the way the Bronze Horseman but after many books this one is never far from the corners of my mind.
This book gets an infinite amount of stars!!! This is by far my favorite book in my favorite series ever. I will recommend this to everyone I know because it is just THAT good!
Reading Order and Purchase Links:
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