Pretty much everyday I visit a site called "Ladies of Lallybroch", and they have a section called"Reading Recommendations". A few years ago I checked the site and found women raving about this book. As I mentioned, I am very susceptible to people's excitement about books, so I immediately bought it.
I realize that I do a fair amount of raving myself on my blog, but I can't help myself sometimes! This book was a FANTASTIC read. Now for the ladies out there, this book's "swoon factor" is all the way to "11". Almost every woman in my family read it, and we would just gush over Alexander and Tatiana... Sigh.
Before I go any further there is terrific news in regards to this book! I WAS going to say that it is very hard to get these days, other than online. That although it is part 1 of a trilogy, the second book is relatively hard to get, and the 3rd one almost impossible. BUT Harper Collins is RE-RELEASING this novel as a trade paperback August 28th! And one can only hope that the other two will follow. But maybe not. See, the thing is that my edition of TBH has an epilogue on the back that fast forwards 15 years and neatly sums up the rest of the story to THE END. This was apparently because the publishers were not sure how it was going to sell. Then when it did well, they re-released it with the new ending and the following two books. I'm not sure which version this one will be.
And that's not all. Although I am not giving away a new book, I AM giving away an AUTOGRAPHED BOOKMARK! That's right, folks, I have in my hot little hands a Secret Garden (the 3rd book) bookmark SIGNED BY PAULLINA!!! All you have to do to enter is comment and leave your email address. That's it. I will then mail the bookmark to the lucky winner. This little giveaway ends Sept 5th.
Now to business. The blurb from the back is a pretty good little summary:
The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler's armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.
Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander's impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.
This is a love story, and it is historical romance at its best. The war is a stark backdrop to our two lovers who are constantly battling their surroundings against their overwhelming need to be together. I hardly could breathe while reading the thing. And for any of you interested in this sort of thing, the love scenes? (cough, cough) Are the best I have ever read. Ever. Without being too over-the-top, nor too cheesy, Simons hits it just right. To me fall or winter is the perfect time to read this (if you live in such a climate), the cold weather outside will lend nicely to the imagery in the story.