WHY I READ IT
A friend recommended it, and I was in the middle of such a book slump, I was willing to try anything.
WHAT I RATED IT
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
During the summer of 1941 the Metanov family are living a hard life in Leningrad. As the German armies advance their future looks bleak. For Tatiana, love arrives in the guise of Alexander, who harbours a deadly and extraordinary secret.
**This is a review of the entire trilogy and may contain minor spoilers.**
“I love you. I’m blind for you, wild for you. Sick with you. I told you that our first night together when I asked you to marry me, I am telling you now. Everything that’s happened to us, everything, is because I crossed the street for you. I worship you. You know that through and through.”
Let me be clear and say that this is not a book I would have picked up on my own if a friend didn’t send me the first book and say, “Just give it a chance, I promise you’ve never read anything like it.” A story that takes place at the start of World War Two, and in the Soviet Union is not necessarily my thing. Add to that, the complete trilogy is around 2,000 pages. I was ready to bow out gracefully. Then I started reading.
After those 2,000 or so pages, I’m not even sure I have words to convey the kind of story this was. It was moving, enlightening, maddening, heart-stopping, frustrating, gorgeous, and I have never read anything like it, nor will I ever again. This is a love story that spans decades, through famine and war, through rehabilitation and reunion. There were dozens of side characters, some you will love, some you will hate, but this story is ultimately Tatiana and Alexander’s. It is what happens when a Red Army Soldier crosses the street for a girl on a bench eating ice cream. It is true love at first sight; An all encompassing, decade spanning, love at first sight. The obstacles thrown at Tatiana and Alexander would derail any couple, and while it very nearly does, these two have strength and faith in each other like I have never seen. What they are able to accomplish, completely driven by their love for each other, is unparalleled.
I am at a complete loss of what do to now that I have finished this story. How do you go on after reading why might be the greatest love story of all time? I beg you to not be intimidated by the number of pages (yes, you must read all three books), or the price of the e-books (high yes, but worth every single penny). You will never experience anything like this epic, life-changing love story.