The Summer Garden

Paullina Simons. Morrow, $16.99 trade paper (752p) ISBN 978-0-06-198822-6
In this, the worthy final volume of a trilogy that began with The Bronze Horseman—the hugely popular novel about Tatiana and Alexander, young lovers who survive the siege of Leningrad and worse—Tatiana and Alexander have escaped the Soviet Union to take up life as postwar American citizens; with their young son they roam from state to state until they settle, finally, in Arizona. While there is a great deal of compelling material, Simons is clearly hard-pressed to build a story without the structure provided by WWII; instead, less tangible issues (post-traumatic stress, trust, fidelity, the role of women in the workplace) as well as lengthy flashbacks fill the gap until the Vietnam War provides a framework and closure. While some will find Simons's style overly sentimental and operatic, the story is easy to fall in to, and Tatiana and Alexander remain compelling to the end. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/23/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 752 pages - 978-0-06-208797-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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