A powerful story of grief and hope, a passionate and epic love story from the Russian-born author of the internationally bestselling novels TULLY and ROAD TO PARADISE. The world at war ...two people in love. Tatiana is eighteen years old and pregnant when she miraculously escapes war-torn Leningrad to the West, believing herself to be a widow. Her husband, Major Alexander Belov, a decorated hero of the Soviet Union, has been arrested by Stalin's infamous secret police and is awaiting imminent death as a traitor and a spy. Tatiana begins her new life in America. In wartime New York City she finds work, friends and a life beyond her dreams. However, her grief is inescapable and she keeps hearing Alexander calling out to her. Meanwhile, Alexander faces the greatest danger he's ever known. An American trapped in Russia since adolescence, he has been serving in the Red Army and posing as a Soviet citizen to protect himself. For him, Russia's war is not over, and both victory and defeat will mean certain death. As the Second World War moves into its spectacular close, Tatiana and Alexander are surrounded by the ghosts of their past and each other.
They must struggle against destiny and despair as they find themselves in the fight of their lives. A master of the historical epic, Paullina Simons takes us on a journey across continents, time, and the entire breadth of human emotion, to create a heartrendingly beautiful love story that will live on long after the final page is turned.
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(197mm x 130mm x 36mm)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Beginning with the misguided defection of an American family to pre-war Soviet Russia, this powerful and moving story follows the lives of Tatiana and Alexander, who meet and fall in love at the outset of the appalling siege of Leningrad. He is a major in the Red Army, she a young and beautiful girl. Circumstances force them apart shortly after their marriage, and the pregnant Tatiana flees to America, leaving Alexander to the grim and sometimes bewildering brutalities of Stalinist Russia. But the faith and love they have in each other carry them through the years and the Second World War, despite the penuries, violence and betrayal that follow Alexander as he fights for a country that seems determined to punish him for his loyalty and courage. Paullina Simons paints a vivid and painful account of the Russian war with Hitler, and fills her narrative with examples of the absurdity and corruption of communist Russia. It is impossible to read this often heartbreaking novel without becoming deeply engaged with the characters and sharing their hardships. The rare moments of ecstatic joy snatched by this indefatigable couple are so intense that they leave the reader feeling almost voyeuristic, although totally involved in this dramatic piece of writing, whose length and breadth will satisfy all devotees of this author and introduce many more to her talents. This is a skilful and intelligently written book that rewards us with a belief in goodness and love, as we emerge with Tatiana and Alexander from the ashes of war-torn Europe, breathless but triumphant. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Paullina Simons
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 lives in New York with her husband and children.