Cover image for The bronze horseman
Title:
The bronze horseman
Author:
Simons, Paullina, 1963-
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Morrow, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
637 pages : maps ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060199265

9780061031120
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Called "a Russian Thorn Birds," The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons is a sweeping saga of love and war that has been a monumental bestseller all over the world. The acclaimed author of Tully, Simons has written a stirring tale of devotion, passion, secrets, betray, and sacrifice. "A love story both tender and fierce" (Publishers Weekly ) that "Recalls Dr. Zhivago" (People Magazine), The Bronze Horseman is rich and vivid historical fiction at its finest.


Author Notes

Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad, USSR in 1963. At the age of ten her family immigrated to the United States. Paullina attended college in New York, Kansas and England. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in Political Science Paullina went on to various jobs including working as a financial journalist and as a translator.

After several years Paullina got around to her first love and wrote her novel Tully (HarperCollins, Oct. 1995). She has since written Red Leaves, Eleven Hours, The Bronze Horseman, The Bridge to Holy Cross, (also known as Tatiana and Alexander.) The Summer Garden, The Girl in Times Square, Road to Paradise and Children of Liberty. Many of Paullina's novels have reached international bestseller lists in countries including Australia and New Zealand.

Paullina has also written a cookbook, Tatiana's Table, which is a collection of recipes, short stories and recollections from her bestselling books The Bronze Horseman, The Bridge to Holy Cross, and The Summer Garden.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

The Soviet Union suffered immensely at the hands of Germany during World War II, and no Russian city suffered more than Leningrad. The Germans laid siege to Leningrad in 1941, and the resulting horror and chaos gave rise to many dramatic tales of deprivation and heroism. Simons tells one of them here. Tatiana Metanov's life is typical of the way most people lived in Leningrad in the late 1930s and early 1940s: her family is crammed into a small living space, and their days consist of endlessly waiting in various lines for supplies. On the day Germany invades the Soviet Union, Tatiana meets Alexander Belov, a lieutenant in the Red Army. The story of their love takes the reader through the whole, awful span of Leningrad under siege. Unfortunately, the novel is overlong, and, at times, Simons shifts awkwardly between her fictional story and real events. But readers who persevere--those who love long novels for the sense it gives them of "living" with a book--will come to care about these characters and their plight and will take away a definite sense of what the siege of Leningrad actually meant on a personal level. Simons is the author of the best-selling Tully (1994), and heavy publisher promotion will draw attention to her new novel. --Brad Hooper


Publisher's Weekly Review

Set in her native St. Petersburg, Russia, Simons's latest thick novel (after Tully, etc.) focuses on a WWII love affair. As the story opens, Tatiana, the youngest member of the Metanova family, is just 17; she still shares a bed with her older sister, Dasha. Not long after the country goes to war with Germany, Tatiana meets Alexander, a soldier, and sparks fly. It turns out, however, that Alexander is the same soldier Dasha has been crowing about. Possessed of a strong sense of family loyalty, and living under conditions that permit no privacy, Tatiana refuses to interfere with her sister's happiness, but the attraction between Tatiana and Alexander proves too powerful. Complicating matters, another soldier, Dimitri, has information that could destroy Alexander, and Dimitri likes Tatiana, too. In order to protect both Dasha's feelings and Alexander's life, the star-crossed lovers become part of a deceptive quadrangle as war intensifies around them. Taking her title from a tragic poem by Alexandr Pushkin, Simons skillfully highlights the ironies of the socialist utopia. Despite the novel's sprawling length and its seemingly epic scope, the nearly single-minded focus on dialogue between Tatiana and Alexander leaves other character development shortchanged and the reader with the impression of a peculiarly tiny canvas. Nave and occupying the Cinderella role in her family, Tatiana is certainly a survivor though one who finally outstays her welcome. While her love story is often both tender and fierce, it is also overwrought and prolonged past the breaking point. (June)Forecast: An advertising blitz, five-city author tour and glamorous jacket may distract readers from the novel's shortcomings and ensure short-term success (foreign rights have been sold in 10 countries), but this is not the Russian Thorn Birds the publisher hopes it will be. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In 1941 Leningrad, two sisters share everything including a passion for Red Army officer Alexander. Simons, the author of Tully and other titles, was born and raised in St. Petersburg. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-A heart-stopping love story by the author of Tully (St. Martin's, 1995). Teens will also be gripped by descriptions of battles of World War II Europe on the eastern front, when Hitler abrogated the nonaggression pact with Stalin and invaded Russia. The events are told in explicit detail, from battle scenes to the horror of life in Leningrad under siege to passionate lovemaking. Tatiana meets Alexander when she is 16; he is an army officer but soon reveals that he is American by birth, the son of communists who moved to Russia to be part of a new society. They were killed by the secret police when they became disillusioned. Alexander hides his secret from all but one man, Dimitri, who constantly threatens him. Tatiana, living in a cramped apartment with her family, watches her parents, grandmother, and cousin die of starvation. With Alexander's help she escapes from Leningrad and makes her way to the country, staying with distant cousins who nurse her back to health. Tatiana and Alexander are reunited there, and for a brief time live an idyllic life. They marry and he returns to the war. Finally, desperate to escape Russia, the couple decides to leave by way of Finland, but Dimitri again foils their plans. Only Tatiana arrives in America, to give birth to their son on Ellis Island.-Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

The Bronze Horseman Chapter One The Field of Mars Light came through the window, trickling morning all over the room. Tatiana Metanova slept the sleep of the innocent, the sleep of restless joy, of warm, white Leningrad nights, of jasmine June. But most of all, intoxicated with life, she slept the exuberant sleep of undaunted youth. She did not sleep for much longer. When the sun's rays moved across the room to rest at the foot of Tatiana's bed, she pulled the sheet over her head, trying to keep the daylight out. The bedroom door opened, and she heard the floor creak once. It was her sister, Dasha. Daria, Dasha, Dashenka, Dashka. She represented everything that was dear to Tatiana. Right now, however, Tatiana wanted to smother her. Dasha was trying to wake her up and, unfortunately, succeeding. Dasha's strong hands were vigorously shaking Tatiana, while her usually harmonious voice was dissonantly hissing, "Psst! Tania! Wake up. Wake up!" Tatiana groaned. Dasha pulled back the sheet. Never was their seven-year age difference more apparent than now, when Tatiana wanted to sleep and Dasha was ... "Stop it," Tatiana muttered, fishing helplessly behind her for the sheet and pulling it back over her. "Can't you see I'm sleeping? What are you? My mother?" The door to the room opened. Two creaks on the floor. It was her mother. "Tania? You awake? Get up right now." Tatiana could never say that her mother's voice was harmonious. There was nothing soft about Irina Metanova. She was small, boisterous, and full of indignant, overflowing energy. She wore a kerchief to keep her hair back from her face, for she had probably already been down on her knees washing the communal bathroom in her blue summer frock. She looked bedraggled and done with her Sunday. "What, Mama?" Tatiana said, not lifting her head from the pillow. Dasha's hair touched Tatiana's back. Her hand was on Tatiana's leg, and Dasha bent over as if to kiss her. Tatiana felt a momentary tenderness, but before Dasha could say anything, Mama's grating voice intruded. "Get up quick. There's going to be an important announcement on the radio in a few minutes." Tatiana whispered to Dasha, "Where were you last night? You didn't come in till well past dawn." "Can I help it," Dasha whispered with pleasure, "that last night dawn was at midnight? I came in at the perfectly respectable hour of midnight." She was grinning. "You were all asleep." "Dawn was at three, and you weren't home." Dasha paused. "I'll tell Papa I got caught on the other side of the river when the bridges went up at three." "Yes, you do that. Explain to him what you were doing on the other side of the river at three in the morning." Tatiana turned over. Dasha looked particularly striking this morning. She had unruly dark brown hair and an animated, round, dark-eyed face that had a reaction for everything. Right now that reaction was cheerful exasperation. Tatiana was exasperated herself -- less cheerfully. She wanted to continue sleeping. She caught a glimpse of her mother's tense expression. "What announcement?" Her mother was taking the bedclothes off the sofa. "Mama! What announcement?" Tatiana repeated. "There is going to be a government announcement in a few minutes. That's all I know," Mama said doggedly, shaking her head, as if to say, what's not to understand? Tatiana was reluctantly awake. Announcement. It was a rare event when music would be interrupted for a word from the government. "Maybe we invaded Finland again." She rubbed her eyes. "Quiet," Mama said. "Or maybe they invaded us. They've been wanting their borders back ever since losing them last year." "We didn't invade them," said Dasha. "Last year we went to get our borders back. The ones we lost in the Great War. And you should stop listening to adult conversations." "We didn't lose our borders," Tatiana said. "Comrade Lenin gave them away freely and willingly. That doesn't count." "Tania, we are not at war with Finland. Get out of bed." Tatiana did not get out of bed. "Latvia, then? Lithuania? Byelorussia? Didn't we just help ourselves to them, too, after the Hitler-Stalin pact?" "Tatiana Georgievna! Stop it!" Her mother always called her by her first and patronymic names whenever she wanted to show Tatiana she was not in the mood to be fooled with. Tatiana pretended to be serious. "What else is left? We already have half of Poland." "I said stop!" Mama exclaimed. "Enough of your games. Get out of bed. Daria Georgievna, get that sister of yours out of bed." Dasha did not move. Growling, Mama left the room. Turning quickly to Tatiana, Dasha whispered conspiratorially, "I've got something to tell you!" "Something good?" Tatiana was instantly curious. Dasha usually revealed little about her grown-up life. Tatiana sat up. "Something great!" said Dasha. "I'm in love!" Tatiana rolled her eyes and fell back on the bed. "Stop it!" Dasha said, jumping on top of her. "This is serious, Tania." "Yes, all right. Did you just meet him yesterday when the bridges were up?" She smiled. "Yesterday was the third time." Tatiana shook her head, gazing at Dasha, whose joy was infectious. "Can you get off me?" "No, I can't get off you," Dasha said, tickling her. "Not until you say, 'I'm happy, Dasha.'" "Why would I say that?" exclaimed Tatiana, laughing. "I'm not happy. Stop it! Why should I be happy? I'm not in love. Cut it out!" Mama came back into the room, carrying six cups on a round tray and a silver samovar -- an urn with a spigot used for boiling water for tea. "You two will stop at once! Did you hear me?" "Yes, Mama," said Dasha, giving Tatiana one last hard tickle. "Ouch!" said Tatiana as loudly as possible. "Mama, I think she cracked my ribs." "I'm going to crack something else in a minute. You're both too old for these games." Dasha stuck out her tongue at Tatiana. "Very grown-up," Tatiana said. "Our Mamochka doesn't know you're only two." Dasha's tongue remained out. Tatiana reached up ... The Bronze Horseman . Copyright © by Paullina Simons. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.