A magnificent epic of love, war and Russia from the international bestselling author of TULLY and ROAD TO PARADISE Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose palaces and 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. The routine of their hard impoverished life is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanov family, for Leningrad and particularly for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On that fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young man named Alexander. The family suffers 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 inexorably to each other, but theirs is a love that could tear Tatiana's family apart, and at its heart lies a secret that could mean death to anyone who hears it. Confronted on the one hand by Hitler's vast 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. / This extremely moving novel draws on the experiences of the author's own family during the Siege of Leningrad / Now repackaged with all of Paullina's backlist in stunning new style / Paullina's most recent novel, ROAD TO PARADISE, reached number three in Australia and went straight to number one in New Zealand / Competition: Jodi Picoult
Paullina Simons was born in Leningrad in 1963. As a child she emigrated to Queens, New York, and attended colleges in Long Island. Then she moved to England and attended Essex University, before returning to America. She has worked as a financial journalist and translator. She lives near New York with her husband and four children. Visit her website, paullinasimons.com, for more information about her bestselling novels.
Set in her native St. Petersburg, Russia, Simons's latest thick novel (after Tully, etc.) focuses on a WWII love affair. As the story opens, Tatiana, the youngest member of the Metanova family, is just 17; she still shares a bed with her older sister, Dasha. Not long after the country goes to war with Germany, Tatiana meets Alexander, a soldier, and sparks fly. It turns out, however, that Alexander is the same soldier Dasha has been crowing about. Possessed of a strong sense of family loyalty, and living under conditions that permit no privacy, Tatiana refuses to interfere with her sister's happiness, but the attraction between Tatiana and Alexander proves too powerful. Complicating matters, another soldier, Dimitri, has information that could destroy Alexander, and Dimitri likes Tatiana, too. In order to protect both Dasha's feelings and Alexander's life, the star-crossed lovers become part of a deceptive quadrangle as war intensifies around them. Taking her title from a tragic poem by Alexandr Pushkin, Simons skillfully highlights the ironies of the socialist utopia. Despite the novel's sprawling length and its seemingly epic scope, the nearly single-minded focus on dialogue between Tatiana and Alexander leaves other character development shortchanged and the reader with the impression of a peculiarly tiny canvas. Nave and occupying the Cinderella role in her family, Tatiana is certainly a survivor though one who finally outstays her welcome. While her love story is often both tender and fierce, it is also overwrought and prolonged past the breaking point. (June) Forecast: An advertising blitz, five-city author tour and glamorous jacket may distract readers from the novel's shortcomings and ensure short-term success (foreign rights have been sold in 10 countries), but this is not the Russian Thorn Birds the publisher hopes it will be. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Praise for Paullina Simons Tully 'Pick up this book and prepare to have your emotions wrung so completely you'll be sobbing your heart out one minute and laughing through your tears the next! Read it and weep -- literally' Company Tatiana and Alexander 'This has everything a romance glutton could wish for: a bold, talented and dashing hero, a heart-stopping love affair ! It also has -- thank goodness -- a welcome sense of humour and discernable characters rather than ciphers.' Victoria Moore, Daily Mail The Bronze Horseman 'Pulling off the passionate love story embedded in a truly epic narrative is a difficult thing to do. Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind remains the blueprint for the genre, while Tolstoy's War and Peace carries off the literary honours ! it's quickly apparent that the Russian-born author Paullina Simons has the measure of this kind of epic romantic saga ! She is able to make some powerful statements about the durability of the human spirit, but never at the expense of descriptive passages refulgent with power and beauty' Barry Forshaw, amazon
In 1941 Leningrad, two sisters share everything including a passion for Red Army officer Alexander. Simons, the author of Tully and other titles, was born and raised in St. Petersburg. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Adult/High School-A heart-stopping love story by the author of Tully (St. Martin's, 1995). Teens will also be gripped by descriptions of battles of World War II Europe on the eastern front, when Hitler abrogated the nonaggression pact with Stalin and invaded Russia. The events are told in explicit detail, from battle scenes to the horror of life in Leningrad under siege to passionate lovemaking. Tatiana meets Alexander when she is 16; he is an army officer but soon reveals that he is American by birth, the son of communists who moved to Russia to be part of a new society. They were killed by the secret police when they became disillusioned. Alexander hides his secret from all but one man, Dimitri, who constantly threatens him. Tatiana, living in a cramped apartment with her family, watches her parents, grandmother, and cousin die of starvation. With Alexander's help she escapes from Leningrad and makes her way to the country, staying with distant cousins who nurse her back to health. Tatiana and Alexander are reunited there, and for a brief time live an idyllic life. They marry and he returns to the war. Finally, desperate to escape Russia, the couple decides to leave by way of Finland, but Dimitri again foils their plans. Only Tatiana arrives in America, to give birth to their son on Ellis Island.-Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.