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The Summer Garden: A Novel

The Summer Garden: A Novel

3.9 92
by Paullina Simons

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The epic and monumental love story Paullina Simons began with her adored international bestseller The Bronze Horseman comes to a breathtaking conclusion. The Summer Garden is the third volume in Simons’s magnificent trilogy—a Russian Thorn Birds—which follows a love that survived the terrible siege of Leningrad during World


The epic and monumental love story Paullina Simons began with her adored international bestseller The Bronze Horseman comes to a breathtaking conclusion. The Summer Garden is the third volume in Simons’s magnificent trilogy—a Russian Thorn Birds—which follows a love that survived the terrible siege of Leningrad during World War Two, a heartbreaking separation and a glorious reunion in America, only to be supremely tested by the hatred, fear, and uncertainty of the Cold War. You will never forget the lovers Tatiana and Alexander and their story of enduring love and commitment, and you will cherish every moment spent in The Summer Garden.

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HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Bronze Horseman , #3
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2 MB

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Meet the Author

Paullina Simons is an internationally bestselling author whose novels include Bellagrand and The Bronze Horseman was born in Leningrad in 1963. As a child she immigrated to Queens, New York, and attended colleges in Long Island. Then she moved to England and attended Essex University, before returning to America. She lives in New York with her husband and children.

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Summer Garden 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 92 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now this book is very different from the first two books, but still very good. Instead of seeing your sweet love story you saw in the first book, the relationship is now more realistic, dealing real life problems. Their relationship has their problems (what relationship doesn't), but you still see that they love to each other. I don't agree with the other reviews on this story, that not only ruin the book before you read it, but claims disappointment that their love is not an 'oh so perfect love'. However, I think the author tries to make their relationship more like the relationships you do see around your own world. She has them overcome problems and shows their agony and disappointments in each other and how they deal with it. Now my only problem with this book is towards the end... too many things going on with the children and their children's children that it gets a bit chaotic, but by the time you make it to the last chapter, it ends quite simply, it ends how we all imagine true love, 'oh so perfect love', to end... to grow old with each other...
nyauthoress More than 1 year ago
The intensity and passion of the first two novels is shifted as Tatia and Shura, forever changed by years of war-torn separation, relearn who they are as a couple. They survived terrible upheavals in The Bronze Horseman and distance and loss in Tatiana and Alexander. Now, two very changed people doggedly renew their enduring love, seize the happiness they once knew, and forge ahead in America to reclaim their life together. Sound like a fairy tale? It is not because the adjustments necessary to rekindle their lost love are heart wrenching and difficult. Their commitment to each other, however, is unfailing. Their young son, Anthony, captures the irony of his parents' transitions early on when he says, "My dad was a major (in the war), but now he's a lobsterman." They live in Maine. Shortly later, they move to a houseboat in Miami. San Antonio, Texas. New Mexico. The Napa Valley of California. Each move brings excruciatingly slow healing. Alexander recovers from PTSD. Tatiana strives to soothe him and reignite their former passion. Their son, Anthony, tries to make sense of the emotional rollercoaster his parents ride. Their lives are rife with conflict, compassion and compromise. Freedom in their new home is impeded by the political complications of a US citizen who served as a Russian officer living in Communist-wary America. Finally, they settle in Arizona on the land Tatiana wisely purchased in the previous book. Can they ever carve out a normal life after what they have been through? Although part of a trilogy, the book stands on its own. Slower paced, it is richly drawn. Flashbacks from the two preceding novels fill in the story for the reader. Within its pages lie hate, happiness, intimacy, betrayal, struggle, war, peace, the joy and pain of children. Simons concentrates on the two main characters. Even if you haven't read the first two books, you will care about Tatiana and Alexander deeply. Although stubborn, passionate and wounded, they simply do not give up on their love for each other. The development of secondary characters was cast aside, except for the son, Anthony. At age five, he learns to sing in Russian and English-and to change the magazine cartridge in his father's Colt M 1911 in six seconds. He eventually makes his way to West Point, Vietnam and into the presence of President Reagan. Despite its unique emotional and suspenseful qualities, the book's focus on unnecessary minutiae dulls its impact. The incessant love-making scenes, although perhaps a metaphor for the healing in the marriage, become tiresome. The emphasis on the education and marriages of grandchildren seems a digression. An editor's pen could have condensed the rambling wordiness into a fast-paced epic. The book is highly recommended to devotees of the trilogy. If you haven't read the first books, but love an unpredictable romantic melodrama which yanks your emotions to and fro, you will enjoy The Summer Garden. The review copy was graciously provided by William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers. Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the realist books I have ever read. It is so emotional and this is definitely a must read series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
And on and on it goes. 50 pages left will this ever end?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not sure how true lovers of TBH and T&A could review this badly. Yes, its different from the first two, but its real and relatable. These people are real people in the US and after all theyve been through, they need to heal. They face struggles of the everyday. And yet their love prevails. Beautiful in such a different way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved the first two books of this series. Unfortunately I read the third one. I would have been very happy leaving my imagination to fill in the happy ending from the second's ending. The writing style is fairly consistent to her first two books... Too much so, its as if the characters don't age. By the end of this book, Tatiana and Alexander are in the 70s and still so in love, and physically attracted to each other - not something I really want to picture. This books focuses much more so on Alexanders distress dealing with PTSD and then later on his self-imagined martial problems. You end up being very angry with his character... Their relationship is a train wreck, not what you would have imagined after what they'd been through in Russia. And the absolute worst part, is there is so much fluff in this book! The entire flash back chapters to Tatiana's summer in Luga are pointless, annoying, never-ending, and drawn out extensively. Then the end of the book takes forever describing a holiday dinner and every single detail to every single one of their 30 grandchildren. I wish this book concentrated more on telling the story of how to deal with a husband with PTSD, rather its a taking you in circles to no point or end. Again, LOVED the first and second. Might as well read this book if you're a fan, but be ready for disappointment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put the first two books of this trilogy down. "The Bronze Horseman" has become one of my top five favorite books of all time, and I m a lifelong voracious reader. I loved the second book, but "The Summer Garden" was, at times, most difficult to get through. The day to day existance of Tatiana and Alexander could have been condensed into another 200 pages of the second book. Too much dialog, too much sex, waaay too much sex, and too much minutia of going to the grocery store and eating in restaurants, and swimming in their swimming pool had me nodding off on more than one occasion. And the vietnam senario was, to me, overkill and a bit unbelievable. Then there was the author's need to provide us with details of the grandchildren and great grandchildren. While I kept reading to the end because I was devoted to the characters of Tatiana and Alexander, I found myself wishing that their story had been wrapped up at the end of the second book. Still...I will be forever grateful I discovered this wonderful author and her "Bronze Horseman". That truly beautiful book will stay on my shelf of favorites for a long time.
Alicia Bartak More than 1 year ago
I loved the first book in this series...so much so that it's my favorite book now. The second book wasn't as good, but I still enjoyed it. I wish I didn't read this last one. I've actually tried to forget it by rereading the first, bc the events in this book almost ruin their entire story. First, it was boring. While I couldn't put down The Bronze Horseman, I could barely read through two chapters of this before setting it aside. I had to force myself to finish it, and I wish I hadn't, because I started to hate Alexander for acting in a way that was completely out of character and unbelievable. He was amazing until almost the end, then does something horrible, and I'm supposed to love him again by the end? Also, the ending had way too much going on, trying to introduce their entire family. I'm so upset with how this ended...I wish she would write a new ending and throw this one out.
djDL More than 1 year ago
A great trilogy!! A must. I couldn't put it down. All three were great. I do think the first one "Bronze Horseman" was my favorite. all three deserve a 5 star rating.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Having survived the 1941 Nazi siege of Leningrad and Stalin's brutal response, Tatiana and Alexander were kept apart but with WWII over they fled the Soviet Union. They reunite in the United States becoming Americans. Accompanied by their son Anthony the duo decided to stay in Arizona. The couple struggles to overcome the reality of being strangers in many respects to one another. Still they believe they belong together. As they learn who each other is, Anthony joins the army to fight for his country in Vietnam. When Tatiana and Alexander learn Anthony is missing in action, the former Soviet officer travels to Nam to find his son and bring him home to his mother. This is a fabulous finish to the strong romantic trilogy of the two Russian expatriates. Their post WWII drama in the States differs from the harrowing danger of surviving hostilities including from their homeland as now the tsuris is personal. As the couple deals with battle fatigue, matrimonial problems caused by their separation, and their son's MIA status, readers will appreciate the end of their ballad as the Cold War becomes frequently heated. Using flashbacks, Paulina Simons provides an epic twentieth century saga (see The Bronze Horseman, and Tatiana and Alexander). Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As much of a fan as I am I don't even want to go near this book if it's going to compramise the way I feel about my boloved Tatiana and Alexander.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My least favorite of the trilogy because it went on and on and on. It was never ending. I hated Carmen. But still a beautiful love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whew what can I say? This is an excellent series. It is almost emotionally overwhelming! It's brilliantly written. As you read you feel every heart break and joy Tatiana and Alexander feel. I highly recommend this series. Just make sure your laundry is caught up and you have plenty of sandwich meats and bread so your family can eat while you read. Trust me, you won't be able to put this series down to do anything else!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This whole series...u miss them when its over
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in a trilogy. Start with the Bronze Horseman. This book is amazing! The trilogy are my favorite books and I'm an voracious reader. This is a beautiful love story. I absolutely LOVED how Paullina Simons ended this trilogy. MUST READ!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Realistic and emotionallyengaging
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fabulous read. I hated to see the trilogy end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First off, I put off buying this book for two weeks because of some of the poor reviews on this site. I needed a book to read for a trip and decided to give it a try anyway. I'm so glad that I did. I VERY MUCH enjoyed this book, probably more so than the second one. For those who wanted everything tied up nice and neat after the second book, this one probably isn't for you. Yep, there were things in it I didn't care for but that's how life goes. Again demonstrated in this book is the strength and resilience of the characters and their love for each other. I thought it was a very practical and perfect ending to a timeless love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago