Tatiana & Alexander (Paullina Simons)


The Bridge to Holy Cross is a powerful story of love 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 final violent phase, 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.

Okay, where do I start? God it was beautiful, heartbreaking, and captivating. It was…it was….

 “Tatiana, you were my only life force. You have no idea how hard I tried to get to you again. I gave myself up to the enemy, to the Germans for you. I got shot at for you and beaten for you and betrayed for you and convicted for you. All I wanted was to see you again. That you came back to me, it’s everything, Tatia. Don’t you understand? The rest is nothing to me.”

First things first: this book was so much more emotionally riveting than the first book (in my opinion). After the sobfest of an ending I encountered in The Bronze Horseman, all I really wanted was for Tatiana and Alexander to quickly find their way back to each other but SURPRISE, nothing comes easy to these two. I wanted to cry every time Tania and Shura’s thoughts drifted to each other. Guys, this is what angst was like in the 1940’s. I am just so sure of it. I loved seeing Tania and Shura apart. I loved seeing how they adjusted and even how they grew into themselves. It was so real to me.

“He dreamed of Tatiana, and when he woke up, he thought of Tatiana. Dreams and reality were mingled. Alexander didn’t know where the nightmare ended and real life began.”

We can just chalk this up as my feelings were really all over the place with this book. I really liked the fact that true to its title ‘Tatiana and Alexander’. This book really focused on them and only them. We got their back stories, what they’ve been through before they met each other and once they finally met each other, and then of course all their struggles afterwards. How awesome is that?

“Ask yourself these three questions and you will know who you are:
What do you believe in?
What do you hope for?
What do you love?”

Once again this is a story of hope, love, and survival. It’s about longing and pain. Their enduring love is everything. Thoughts of Larezevo and benches and ice cream and white dresses with red roses and potato counters and blueberries and medals and Orbeli… it’s everything they grasp to keep going, keep loving, and to keep their hope alive. I am just in awe at the brilliant writing and the story of true love that stands all of time. It’s the most unforgettable series I have encountered in a long time.


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