Monday, May 10, 2010

Review for "The Summer Garden" by Paullina Simons

After reading this book I can't help but ask "Can anyone truly survive war?" When that army seargant comes home to his beautiful wife, the one he envisioned every night on the battlefield as he crept along the cold forest floor, closer and closer to his enemy, does he just wrap his arms around her and forget? When he nestles his face into her long locks and smells her floral shampoo, does he just forget the whistling of the grenades and the blasts of the bombs? When he lays his hands upon her and feels her arch towards him, does he just forget the feel of his rifle and the cold steel of his blade? When he sees his dark-haired son for the first time since his birth, does that army seargant just forget the piercing eyes of his enemy and the smell of the dead? How can he? How could anyone?

Although the war is over, Alexander and Tatiana are still fighting. However, the battle is no longer with the Germans or Russians. It is with life....the reality of daily living. Both of them are tormented by the ravages of war, memories of pain, suffering and loss that engulf them when they look at each other, touch each other, whisper to each other. They already know how to they have to learn how to live.

I devoured this book. Being the final installment in the trilogy, I desperately wanted to know what happened to this amazing couple. The connection between Tatiana and Alexander remains undeniably awe-inspiring. She tries desperately to heal his scars, both physical and mental. There is nothing that soothes him more than Tatiana....his wife, his only true love, "his cradle and his grave". The whispers he shares with her are like footprints across my own heart. Only Jamie Fraser from Outlander has the power to caress me with words like Alexander does. Even as they grow older, Alexander remains the strong, striking and stubborn man he was in his twenties when he crossed the street for a young Russian girl named Tatiana. Fate tries to snatch their happiness away by luring their oldest son into the throes of the Vietnam war, a son who has grown up to be just like his dad, only taller, stronger and more beautiful.

I did not want this story to end. I have journeyed with these characters from the beginning of their tragically sweet love affair and I have run the gauntlet of emotions with them. For me, Paullina Simons has proven that love is stronger than the evils of war and hatred. She has made me believe that happiness can be found after devastating sorrow. She has shown that even the strongest of men need the loving whispers of another. She has made me believe that love will keep us young forever. Thank goodness....... I am forever young.


  1. Wow, your descriptions of the books you have read are very intriguing and inspire me to read them as well. You should be writing the next series!
    Thanks for introducing me to so many 'new' authors.

  2. Can't wait to read this one too! Great descriptions Mandy...Keep on writing!


  3. Loved your book review. You know the characters well and you definitely inspire me to read your latest book. Keep up the awesome reading.

    A. :)

  4. Excellent writing sis!
    You should seriously be a BOOK CRITIC as your "side job"!!!
    Look into it!

  5. Great review!
    I fell in love with Shura, Alexander broke my heart but Tatiana was the one who saved it.

    "Alexander, you broke my heart. But for carrying me on your back, for pulling my dying sled, for giving me your last bread, for the body you destroyed for me, for the son you have given me, for the twenty-nine days we lived like Red Birds of Paradise, for all our Naples sands and Napa wines, for all the days you have been my first and last breath, for Orbeli- I will forgive you. "


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