Tatiana and Alexander is a powerful story of grief and hope – a passionate and epic love story from the Russian-born author of The Bronze Horseman.
The world at war … two people in love.
Tatiana is eighteen years old and pregnant when she miraculously escapes war-torn Leningrad to the West, believing herself to be a widow. Her husband, Major Alexander Belov, a decorated hero of the Soviet Union, has been arrested by Stalin's infamous secret police and is awaiting imminent death as a traitor and a spy.
Tatiana begins her new life in America. In wartime New York City she finds work, friends and a life beyond her dreams. However, her grief is inescapable and she keeps hearing Alexander calling out to her.
Meanwhile, Alexander faces the greatest danger he's ever known. An American trapped in Russia since adolescence, he has been serving in the Red Army and posing as a Soviet citizen to protect himself. For him, Russia's war is not over, and both victory and defeat will mean certain death.
As the Second World War moves into its spectacular close, Tatiana and Alexander are surrounded by the ghosts of their past and each other. They must struggle against destiny and despair as they find themselves in the fight of their lives. A master of the historical epic, Paullina Simons takes us on a journey across continents, time, and the entire breadth of human emotion, to create a heartrendingly beautiful love story that will live on long after the final page is turned.
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Tatiana and Alexander continues Paullina Simons' truly epic tale. The previous instalment, The Bronze Horseman, introduced the charismatic characters of Tatiana Metanova, a strong willed, idiosyncratic teenager and Alexander, a young officer in the Red army. Set against the background of war torn Leningrad, the novel described their dangerously passionate love affair, while cataloguing the horrors of Hitler's invasion of Russia in June 1941.
In Tatiana and Alexander, Tatiana is 18 years old and pregnant with Alexander's child. Believing herself to be a widow she has escaped to America and is working as a nurse on Ellis Island. Her life is good, her baby son is beautiful, and her new friends entertaining, but her heart calls out for Alexander. Alexander, meanwhile, has been arrested by Stalin's secret police and is awaiting death, accused of being a spy and a traitor. In a series of flashbacks his childhood is revealed. His father, a committed communist, removed his family from a comfortable life in America "to live what we believe" in poverty stricken Russia. Alexander, an American, has been serving in the Russian Red Army in attempt to protect himself. Wounded, beaten, betrayed, the memory of Tatiana is the only thing that stops him from despairing--"you were my only life force".
Tatiana and Alexander powerfully describes the triumph of the human spirit in a world of sadness and loss. As Tatiana says: "We walk alone through this world, but if we are lucky, we have a moment of belonging to something, to someone, that sustains us through a lifetime of loneliness". --Eithne FarryReview:
‘Pulling off the passionate love story embedded in a truly epic narrative is a difficult thing to do. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind remains the blueprint for the genre, while Tolstoy's War and Peace carries off the literary honours … it's quickly apparent that the Russian-born author Paullina Simons has the measure of this kind of epic romantic saga. The power of her descriptive writing, the vividness of the historical detail and, most of all, the strength of her central characters mark out her novel as a considerable achievement … she is able to make some powerful statements about the durability of the human spirit, but never at the expense of descriptive passages refulgent with power and beauty’ Barry Forshaw on The Bronze Horseman, amazon
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