Around Town: ’The Bronze Horseman’ is breathtaking

Marsha Holden Special to
The Journal-Standard
Marsha Holden

I have been doing a lot of reading lately. I was walking through the aisle of the library a couple of weeks ago and just happened to spot something that looked interesting.

It was, but consider yourself warned, the book is 800 pages long. The story keeps the reader hooked from the start. There is not any option in the reader's mind to quit the book. It is breathtaking and takes your heart away, but it also has desperately sad passages. So much so that I had to add Kleenex to my shopping list!

The book is “The Bronze Horseman” by Paullina Simons. Simons was born in Russia and came to America when she was 10 years old. My guess is that in writing about the various street corners and bridges, she may have had help from her family who would have known those neighborhoods well. I have just learned from the internet that the book is part of a trilogy. The other titles being “Tatiana and Alexander,” also known as “The Bridge to Holy Cross.” The third title in the trilogy is “The Summer Garden,” which is more about Tatiana and Alexander. I just checked the Freeport Public Library, and the last two titles aren’t available in Freeport.

“The Bronze Horseman” takes place in Russia just as the Germans are beginning to invade Russia. Most of the story takes place in the area of Leningrad, and Alexander is an American whose father decided to move his family to Russia and become a part of Communism. Tatiana is about to go shopping and borrows her sisters red high heels to go with her white dress with big red flowers. As she is waiting for the bus, she spots a very handsome Russian soldier and they have eyes only for each other. Although it is quite sad in parts, there is some humor that will get you laughing out loud. Such as the time that Alexander comes into their cabin and Tatiana is crouched on top of the table that Alexander had just built, screaming.

It seems there is a mouse in the kitchen, and Tatiana is shouting at him to get one of his military weapons of war and get the mouse. Finally Alexander gets the mouse (without using dangerous bullets) and carries it to the woods laughing all the way.

This is a book that you will hold in your heart many months after you have finished reading it. Stay safe and wear a mask for the safety of you and your family.

Marsha Holden: