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Thursday, January 12, 2012

REVIEW: Tatiana and Alexander (#2 Tatiana and Alexander Trilogy) by Paullina Simons

5+ Stars!!!
“Where did they teach you how to live after you’d lost it all? Who taught you how to go on after you had lost everything?” - Tatiana
This song, “My Love” by Lene Marlin (link below), is my theme song for this second book in the Tatiana and Alexander trilogy. 

The haunting voice and the lyrics…How my heart aches as I listen to it…Especially because every time I listen to it, now, it will forever remind me of Tatiana and Alexander’s achingly, hauntingly beautiful love story, that is not only etched into my heart, but my whole body. My chest aches, my eyes water, my breath catches, my skin feels tight, sighs escape...I can’t help but want to cry and sigh whenever I think of these two. And those of you who have EXPERIENCED and LOVED this trilogy, I believe you KNOW what I’m talking about. Don’t you?

It has taken me so long to write my review for Tatiana and Alexander - over a year - because I was so CONSUMED with wanting to read the last book, The Summer Garden, that I just couldn’t to stop to review this one.

Also, I’ve really struggled with how to write a review for this one without spoiling the book for anyone who hasn’t read the first. Strangely, now that I’m re-reading The Bronze Horseman, I’m ready to try.

I started this second book armed with the quote below:
"If it were not for hope, the heart would break." ~ Thomas Fuller
This quote helped me to be able to breathe when I first started this book, after all I went through with Tatiana and Alexander in The Bronze Horseman. I hugged my hope for Tatiana and Alexander tight. Because of this, I found I was able to breathe in the first couple hundred pages, but then …as I read on, my chest grew tighter and tighter…and tighter. I ACHED. I was RAW. But I kept clutching on to that hope. My heart still broke, but it was also healed.

Without any plot spoilers I will say, though, that you will learn about both Alexander’s and Tatiana’s lives before they met each other through flashbacks. You’ll also discover some additional things about scenes in the first book. I really appreciated seeing scenes from The Bronze Horseman from Alexander’s perspective as I was longing for that in the first book. You will understand just how momentous that scene on the street, when Alexander sees Tatiana for the first time in her white dress with red roses, eating an ice cream, really was for Alexander.

Alexander and Tatiana are the embodiment of courage, strength, determination, and an enduring, epic love, for me.
""Kiss my forehead".
She obeys.
"Kiss my lips".
She obeys. And obeys.
"Can't you see I'm breaking?"
"Ah," she says, "You're still in one piece then."
I cannot promise you that you’ll be in one piece when you read this. In fact, if you have the experience I did, you’ll be shattered. But I do wish you what I also experienced, which is Hope and Love - the excruciating loss of hope and love…and the heart bursting regaining of hope and love... so INTENSE that you’ll never be the same.

This is not just a “read”. It is an EXPERIENCE. I really can’t explain it any other way!

Orbeli!!! What does it mean? It means so much. And, well, you’ll just have to experience it for yourself.

One of my favourite quotes from this book and which gives the title of the last book, The Summer Garden, such meaning:
“There is one moment, a moment in eternity. Before we find out the truth about one another. That simple moment is the one that propels us through life – what we felt at the very edge of our future, standing over the abyss, before we knew for sure we loved. Before we knew for sure we loved forever. …
Before all that, you and I walked through The Summer Garden, and once in a while my bare arm touched your arm, and once in a while you spoke and that gave me an excuse to look up into your face, into your laughing eyes, to catch a glimpse of your mouth and I, who had never been touched, tried to imagine what it might be like to have your mouth touch me. Falling in love with you in The Summer Garden in the white nights of Leningrad is the moment that propels me through life.”

P.S. Tissues required.

P.P.S. These books are not for everyone, but they are precious keepers for me and many others who have been captivated by Alexander and Tatiana's story.


13 January 2012, Edited to add:

Oh, my. *sniffles* It feels like fate. The day after I finally write my review for Tatiana and Alexander, I come across this haunting song which is absolutely PERFECT for this book! Just PERFECT. This song makes me want to weep, as I did with this book.

"If I Could Be Where You Are" by Enya:

Reading Order:

1. The Bronze Horseman - My Review Here
2. Tatiana and Alexander ( also titled "The Bridge to Holy Cross", in some editions)
3. The Summer Graden – To be reviewed.


- My Alexander – Henry Cavill
- My Tatiana – Teresa Palmer


  1. Another beautiful review, Jayne! I knew from discussions on GR how much these books moved you, and I have a feeling I'll feel the same way. I got choked up reading just reading your review. I put them on the tbr back then, but after this I'm going to have to go to our little bookstore and see if they have them all this weekend.
    Also loved the videos. I still have chills!! XOXO

  2. Thank you, Nissie sweetie! Oh, Nissie, these books affected me so intensely. I do hope they move you, too. Let me know when you read them, okay? "My Love" by Lene Marlin and "If I Could Be Where You Are" by Enya make me feel all the emotions I felt when I read this book. They are perfect for this book, IMHO.

  3. I just looooove this trilogy!!! It's amazing, it broke my heart and at the same time made it stronger when I read it. Your review definitely reflects what a journey these books take you through while you read about Tatiana and Alexander's experiences. I want to reread all three books this year, but I don't know when, because they always make me feel so much...

  4. I agree, Cassio. It broke my heart, but also made me stronger. I don't blame you. You do, indeed, feel soooo much reading these. I recently re-read The Bronze Horseman because I needed to hurt. And I knew TBH would do the trick. One has to be in a bit of a masochistic mood to read these, I think! LOL Well, just in the mood for something uber-emotional, most definitely.

  5. The TBH series changed my life, i fell in love with books when i read these. I have read them twice and am due to read them again!!
    The authour paullina simons has written the screenplay and has to find the right producer for the film to be.
    Cant wait!! hopefully it will be as good as the books.
    Henry Cavill was defenitly paullina's favourite to play alexander.
    you wrote this review perfectly!! everything you feel is how i feel. This book is defenitly an expreience!

  6. Thank you, Anonymous! It's always wonderful to meet others who feel and experience these books the same way that I do.

    Yes, I'm looking forward to the movies and I hope it does the books justice. I would love for Henry to play Alexander! *sighs*

  7. I'm not even done with TBH, but I'm addicted and aching already. I know the plot to all three because I'd die waiting. I am so in love with Tatia & Shura, but I do find it hard to pick the books up because of how heartbreakingly beautiful their love is. I am a huge reader and have never felt emotion so intensly over a book and characters. I can't stop thinking about them, and yet I find it so hard to continue!! I am at Lazerevo and I know I'm in their true bliss! Ahh!

  8. Yes, that's exactly how I felt reading all three books! I had never felt so intensely over any book. It was so intense that I felt I needed to put the books down, and yet, I couldn't stop thinking about Tatia and Shura and just had to keep reading. I didn't know the plot so it was really killing me about what would happen.

  9. love this series ... but I think Summer Garden was the best .. the end literally broke my heart and when Alexander said "I dont want this life to end ..." it was my undoing.

  10. @Anonymous 21 July 2012: This whole series undid me. *SIGHS*