From Russia With Love

Last night was one of my not so good sleep nights. I blame it on TV and books. Let me explain.

I’m currently reading an epic war-time love story called The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons. Here’s the back blurb:

Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose beautiful palaces and stately avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg.

Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. It is a hard, impoverished life, yet the Metanovs know many who are not as fortunate as they.

The family routine is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanovs, for Leningrad and for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On the fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young officer named Alexander.

Tatiana and her family suffer as Hitler’s army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn to each other in an impossible love. It is a love that could tear Tatiana’s family apart, a love that carries a secret that could mean death for anyone who hears it.

Confronted on the one hand by Hitler’s unstoppable war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.

Mesmerizing from the very first page to the final, breathtaking end, The Bronze Horseman brings alive the story of two indomitable, heroic spirits and their great love that triumphs over the devastation of a country at war.

It’s the kind of story that gets into your mind and won’t let go. The characters won’t leave me, I hold my breath as they endure the bombings and the lack of food, I’m fascinated by the culture and I’m enamoured by the beautiful images and horrified by the terrible scenes the pages paint. Lucky for me it’s the first book in a trilogy. Unfortunately, this first paper back is nearly 900 pages.

And to add to the intrigue of the book is the fact that, while the author was born in Russia, she has lived in the US since she was ten. Okay. That’s not the interesting thing. The interesting – and very frustrating – thing is that her books are NOT AVAILABLE IN THE US! What’s up with that? Or if they are, they’re usually very expensive. I was lucky enough to have a friend mail it to me, but this is the kind of book I want to call my very own.

Okay. Enough of that rant. Let’s move on.

*Edited to add – I just ordered all three books from Doubleday Bookclub. They were 20 cents each. Of course, now I’m a member of the Doubleday Bookclub. But is that so bad?*

Katie was sick yesterday so she stayed home. Gilmore Girls was on from noon until nearly 6:00. Lorelai and Rory, Rory and Lorelai, sassy banter, sarcastic wit, All.Day.Long. Not that that’s a bad thing. I’m a fan so it wasn’t a trial or anything.

The problem, however, was that I dreamt about the Gilmore Girls in Russia the entire night. I can’t even tell you any more than that. Just that the Gilmores were in Russia and were speaking with Russian accents. And then I would wake up and try to compose the blog post I was going to write about the Gilmores in Russia.

Why is it the posts I compose while I’m semi-conscious are brilliant, yet when I surface to full awareness the brilliance slips from my grasp and all that’s left is the mundane?


  1. Monnik on September 16, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Oh man! They’re not available in the US?!!! What the heck?That’s really mean of you to do a book review and get my hopes up when I can’t even get ahold of the book.Boo.;)

  2. Zeek on September 16, 2008 at 11:45 am has them (at times) at a lesser price too I think.I SO need to do a re-read of The bronze horseman. I miss Tatiana and Alexander!

  3. Becky on September 16, 2008 at 11:54 am

    That book sounds really good! I wonder why they aren’t available in the U.S.?

  4. His Girl on September 16, 2008 at 11:59 am

    a good book will totally mess me up for weeks.and the gilmore girls? I just started watching them for the first time ever. Began with the first season, and will start season 6 today. this infusion of rory and lorelai and dean and jess and luke and emily and sookie? probably not how they were designed to be watched. my dreams are just beyond bizarre. by the way, I AM STARTING TO FREAK OUT THAT WE GET TO MEET UP IN A COUNTABLE AMOUNT OF DAYS! *dancing, dancing, dancing!*

  5. Gretchen on September 16, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Trying not to hate HG for the last part of her comment–dying of jealousy. Repent! I know…I know…I just watched an episode of the GG, and lurrved it. Thanks for the newest time waster. 😉 I think I “need” that book. Nothing is ever mundane about you. I think you’re brilliant all the time.

  6. Monnik on September 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Whew! I just ordered the Bronze Horseman from my library. It’s checked in and will be waiting for me at the library’s drive through window tomorrow after work.Yippee!

  7. The Daily Bee on September 16, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Russian Gilmore Girls?о! usu тот пудель уже! (aka: Oy with the poodles already!)

  8. Lynilu on September 17, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Your dream is funny! isn’t it a hoot how our days and dreams mix it up?Semi-conscious posts? Of course they’re better! You’re not blocking the creativeness with “woulds and shoulds.” That simple!

  9. Bookwormom on September 17, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Jenster~ TBH seemed like such a slow read to me. I struggled to get past the first 80 pages or so. Does it pick up? Shall I keep going? It’s sitting in my TBR bookcase with the bookmark still in place. I just couldn’t keep it up. What do you think?

  10. Rowena on September 20, 2008 at 12:30 am

    You know, I’ve heard nothing but good things about that book and I really want to read it but it’s an epic love story…that makes me so scared.And I love Gilmore Girls.

  11. Marg on September 20, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    It is very strange that Paullina’s books are not available in the US. I will never understand because she is consistently a bestseller here in Australia.Another good place to try to find them is, last time there was a new Paullina Simons book out I had a giveaway on my blog, and I fully expect to do the same again. I am also willing to post books to people but that is an expensive option because they are generally very big books, and the postage costs are relatively high.

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