Publisher: William Morrow, HarperCollins
Publishing Date: February 26, 2013
Genre: fiction, history, romance, politics
At the turn of the century and the dawning of the modern world, Gina from Belpasso comes to Boston’s Freedom Docks to find a new and better life, and meets Harry Barrington, who is searching for his.
The fates of the Barringtons and Attavianos become entwined, on a collision course between the old and new, between what is expected and what is desired, what is chosen and what is bestowed, what is given and what is taken away.
As America races headlong into the future, much will be lost and much will be gained for Gina and Harry, whose ill-fated love story will break your heart.
Gina, a young Italian girl on the brink of womanhood, steps onto the Boston shores excited for the future of opportunity ahead of her. The first American she meets, and whose story forever entangles her own, is Harry Barrington, son of the wealthy Herman Barrington and leader of the Barrington town just outside of Boston’s city limits. Her eagerness to learn everything and headstrong, forward-thinking personality, mixed with Harry’s studious and philosophical endeavors, bring these two together. Thus begins a whirlwind romance and a daring adventure in the uncertain, politically unrest future.
Although it was a great opportunity to read about the interesting view points and backstory for what brought Alexander Barrington‘s parents together, this book felt a bit unnecessary. In The Bronze Horseman, the first of the Alexander and Tatiana epic romance trilogy, the reader discovers Alexander’s true American identity, that his parents were Italian and American, that they fled America for Russia due to their political beliefs, and that nothing turned out the way they expected. While it was fascinating reading this prequel to the trilogy — who wouldn’t be curious about how the parents of favorite beloved characters met and fell in love? — it felt long and indulgent.
“Long” is really saying something, too. The Bronze Horseman and the other two books are tomes, really fitting the Russian stereotypes for epic romances. This book, however, was rather thin, and I still felt lulled to sleep. I’m sure if I brushed up on my American history, or cared more about politics, I could find some enjoyment from this novel. Unfortunately, the characters felt flat. I did not love them like I loved Alexander and Tatiana. I did not feel the love and connection between Gina and Harry. It was heartrendingly disappointing.
I believe what Simons gave the reader in The Bronze Horseman was enough of a story for Gina and Harry and should have been left at that.
Thank you William Morrow / HarperCollins for providing this book for review!