The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons
Through years of war and devastation, Tatiana and Alexander suffered the worst the twentieth century had to offer. Miraculously reunited in America, they now have a beautiful son, Anthony, the gift of a love strong enough to survive the most terrible upheavals. Though they are still young, the ordeals they endured have changed them—and after living apart in a world laid waste, they must now find a way to live together in postwar America.
With the Cold War rising, dark forces at work in their adopted country threaten their lives, their family, and their hard-won peace. To regain the happiness they once knew, to wash away the lingering pain of the past, two lovers grown distant must somehow forge a new life . . .or watch the ghosts of their yesterdays destroy their firstborn son.
The third and last book of the epic Russian trilogy, immensely powerful and moving. It’s difficult to review this as a stand-alone, because I will need to compare it to The Bronze Horseman and Tatiana and Alexander. The first book was extremely detailed, spanning across the beginning of WWII Russia, and mostly revolved around love, heartbreak, starvation, and death. The second dealt with separation, immigration, and the brutality of war. This final one focused on the marriage, spanning across several decades. Tatiana and Alexander grow quickly in this last book – the First Page atmosphere vastly different from the Last Page.
I enjoyed the trilogy as a whole, but this book alone was not as enjoyable as the first and second. The writing was great, the plot complex and detailed, and Simons excellently drew upon many issues that could/would arise in any marriage. However, one trait that I did not like with Tatiana and Alexander is their passive aggressive arguments. It was reasonable in The Bronze Horseman because they were so young, and most young lovers refuse to get right to the point of an argument so quickly. But in this final book, when their lives span several decades, the did not seem to grow out of it. As someone who likes to get right to the root of an argument, a “just say it!” attitude, I found this a bit frustrating. Beyond this nit-picking detail, The Summer Garden was a good ending to the trilogy.
Rating: ★★★ of 5
GoodReads: 4.2 of 5