Book Information (for this edition):
Published: June 2011 by William Morrow
Author: Paullina Simons
Page Count: 742
Barnes and Noble: $10.61
*Note: I have reviewed the previous novels, The Bronze Horseman & Tatiana and Alexander on my blog. Please beware of spoilers since this is the last book and this review will give away plot ideas that have come from the first two novels!
*Spoiler Free Section*
The end has come! In this thrilling and heartbreaking conclusion to The Bronze Horseman trilogy, Paullina Simons takes readers for the ride of their life.
The Summer Garden continues Tatiana and Alexander’s tale and journey to live after the war is over and they are in America. While the war might be over for the soldiers the war within Tatiana and Alexander’s hearts are not. They are tested over and over as they try to find common ground and fix the disconnect that has come between them after years apart. With all these tests they must fight harder to stay above water and protect their son from the horrors that hide behind their closed eyes.
This book was a roller coaster of emotions, both good and bad. The characters have changed so much over the course of the series that when we get to book three they are almost unrecognizable. The war has shaped the people that they once were and now they are hardened shells.
I cried so many times reading this that I kept the box of tissues next to me the entire time! It was gritty, real, and it showed that love has its ups and downs. There were parts that had my blood boiling and I had to put the book down. These will be discussed more in the spoiler section of my review so please beware!
I believe that this was a strong ending and it concluded the story perfectly. It hurts my heart to part with these characters but I know that Tatia and Shura will forever live inside my heart and soul.
The Summer Garden was such a touching way to end the trilogy and there won’t be a day where these characters aren’t thought about in my mind.
What really had me heated and the reason why I had to put the book down was how unrecognizable Alexander was. Throughout the first 500 or so pages I disliked who he was. This was not the Shura we knew. This man yelled all the time, was cruel to his wife and son, did unspeakable things. I truly disliked this man. The war had changed him and he believed that his wife was the enemy.
What really solidified that thought was when Alexander cheats with Carmen! I CRIED ANGRY TEARS AND YELLED AT THE BOOK!!! I honestly was in the moment because I actually yelled “how could you do this to her???” at the book… an inanimate object. What can I say? This book had me going and I was heartbroken.
And when Tatiana finds out about the cheating and they have their argument what does Alexander do? He hits her! I had to set the book aside and take some deep breaths because this man was not our Alexander.
Tatia forgives Alexander and they finally are able to have another child. It was from here on out that the novel became better. I still didn’t prefer Alexander after everything that happened but he redeemed himself in the end.
Their son Anthony, bless his soul, truly takes on life. He doesn’t want to disappoint his family and he would do anything to live up to his father. I enjoyed how Simons made his life just as important as his parents.
At the end of the novel all their children come around as well as their grandchilden and it is the most touching epilogue I have ever read. That is where the story came full circle for me. It was touching and had elements of The Bronze Horseman woven within.
“We’ll meet again in Lvov, my love and I…” Tatiana hums, eating her ice cream, in our Leningrad, in jasmine June, near Fontanka, the Neva, the Summer Garden, where we are forever young.”
This book was given a 4.5/5 star rating on Goodreads.