Jenster's Musings

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

From Russia With Love

Last night was one of my not so good sleep nights. I blame it on TV and books. Let me explain.

I'm currently reading an epic war-time love story called The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons. Here's the back blurb:

Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose beautiful palaces and stately avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg.

Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. It is a hard, impoverished life, yet the Metanovs know many who are not as fortunate as they.

The family routine is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanovs, for Leningrad and for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On the fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young officer named Alexander.

Tatiana and her family suffer as Hitler's army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn to each other in an impossible love. It is a love that could tear Tatiana's family apart, a love that carries a secret that could mean death for anyone who hears it.

Confronted on the one hand by Hitler's unstoppable war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.

Mesmerizing from the very first page to the final, breathtaking end, The Bronze Horseman brings alive the story of two indomitable, heroic spirits and their great love that triumphs over the devastation of a country at war.

It's the kind of story that gets into your mind and won't let go. The characters won't leave me, I hold my breath as they endure the bombings and the lack of food, I'm fascinated by the culture and I'm enamoured by the beautiful images and horrified by the terrible scenes the pages paint. Lucky for me it's the first book in a trilogy. Unfortunately, this first paper back is nearly 900 pages.

And to add to the intrigue of the book is the fact that, while the author was born in Russia, she has lived in the US since she was ten. Okay. That's not the interesting thing. The interesting - and very frustrating - thing is that her books are NOT AVAILABLE IN THE US! What's up with that? Or if they are, they're usually very expensive. I was lucky enough to have a friend mail it to me, but this is the kind of book I want to call my very own.

Okay. Enough of that rant. Let's move on.

*Edited to add - I just ordered all three books from Doubleday Bookclub. They were 20 cents each. Of course, now I'm a member of the Doubleday Bookclub. But is that so bad?*

Katie was sick yesterday so she stayed home. Gilmore Girls was on from noon until nearly 6:00. Lorelai and Rory, Rory and Lorelai, sassy banter, sarcastic wit, All.Day.Long. Not that that's a bad thing. I'm a fan so it wasn't a trial or anything.

The problem, however, was that I dreamt about the Gilmore Girls in Russia the entire night. I can't even tell you any more than that. Just that the Gilmores were in Russia and were speaking with Russian accents. And then I would wake up and try to compose the blog post I was going to write about the Gilmores in Russia.

Why is it the posts I compose while I'm semi-conscious are brilliant, yet when I surface to full awareness the brilliance slips from my grasp and all that's left is the mundane?

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Mused by Jenster :: 8:23 AM :: 11 People musing:

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