The golden skies, the translucent twilight, the white nights, all hold the promise of youth, of love, of eternal renewal. The war has not yet touched this city of fallen grandeur, or the lives of two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha Metanova, who share a single room in a cramped apartment with their brother and parents. Their world is turned upside down when Hitler’s armies attack Russia and begin their unstoppable blitz to Leningrad.
Yet there is light in the darkness. Tatiana meets Alexander, a brave young officer in the Red Army. Strong and self-confident, yet guarding a mysterious and troubled past, he is drawn to Tatiana—and she to him. Starvation, desperation, and fear soon grip their city during the terrible winter of the merciless German siege. Tatiana and Alexander’s impossible love threatens to tear the Metanova family apart and expose the dangerous secret Alexander so carefully protects—a secret as devastating as the war itself—as the lovers are swept up in the brutal tides that will change the world and their lives forever.
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: September 8th, 2009
If I could give this book all the stars in the night sky, I would.
This book leaves me speechless and my only regret is that I didn’t read it sooner. This is the most intense and achingly beautiful love story that I have ever read. This book is super long (roughly 810 pages) but I honestly did not even notice it. I stayed up until 3am reading this (for three nights in a row…😴) but it was so worth it.
The story follows Tatiana, a 17 year old Russian girl living in Leningrad. On the day that WW2 begins she meets Alexander, a 22 year old Red Army soldier with a secret past. Tatiana’s sister, Dasha, is “in love” with a soldier that she recently met and Tatiana later discovers that its Alexander himself. Even though Tatiana and Alexander are crazy about each other, Tatiana chooses to hide this fact from Dasha and her family so as not to break her sister’s heart. Over months there are many stolen glances and adorable nicknames, before the war comes directly to Leningrad and it becomes a matter of survival for them all.
The ending of this book leaves you aching for more (and an emotional wreck) and I just want so badly for Tatiana and Alexander to have the happily ever after that they deserve. Even though this book is set in a tragic and dangerous time, the romance is absolutely heart wrenching and beautiful. I just can’t put it into words.
Now for the person we’ve all been waiting for, the ultimate book boyfriend…Alexander. The way he LOVES Tatiana is so powerful and the sacrifices he makes for her (and even her family) is truly admirable. He is just perfect and there isn’t enough words in the world to describe how amazing he is. Serious book boyfriend material guys!
As for the writing, it was beautiful and very easy follow. Paullina Simons did an incredible job of just pulling you right into the story and making you feel everything that the characters felt.
Ultimately, I recommend this book to EVERYONE if you want a beautiful love story and a story of survival. I’m currently reading book 2 and I just really want Tatiana and Alexander to have their happily ever after.