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.
I don’t know how to express how beautiful of a story this is without sounding like a raging lunatic. Don’t be afraid that it’s almost 900 pages of length. Think of it as 3 separate stories combined in one book.
This is the love story of love stories. It will outdo Romeo and Juliet, Jaime Fraser and Claire, Hans Solo and Princess Leia… yes I just went there. The story is heart wrenching from the beginning and continues to pull on your heart strings until the very last word.
Tatiana is such an innocent, carefree girl. One day while out getting supplies, she decides to buy an ice cream and sits down to enjoy it while she waits for the bus to show up. That’s when she sees the soldier across the street staring at her. From that moment on, Tatiana’s life will never be the same.
However their story is not an easy one. Tatiana’s older sister met Alexander first and therefor, Tatiana gives him up to save her sister from heartache. Not to mention the war that is taking place right outside their door. Tatiana fights every day to stay alive and Alexander does everything he can to keep her safe. He brings the family food with his rations, he walks Tatiana home from work as well as to and from the grocery store. He even makes sure to bring her something special like chocolate or extra food for just her to eat. He does everything that he can do in his power to keep Tatiana alive. And that, is just half of the story. But I can’t say anymore otherwise it will give away some major spoilers.
If there was a way that I could give this book a higher rating I would. I honestly do not know why this book wasn’t picked up a while ago to be turned into a movie. As it is, I did some digging and found out that there is a movie in the works and will be going into pre-production at the end of 2013. And maybe with a little luck and some pixie dust it will be finished at the end of 2014.
“Tatiana, all the things you’re worried about–they’re gone from my life. Do you know why? Because when I met you, I knew that if I continued and a good girl like you ever asked me about them, I wouldn’t be able to look you in the face and tell you the truth. I would have to look you in the face and lie.”