The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons is such a beautiful story of two people who fall in love in the midst of a country at war. I loved the two main characters, and their devotion and self-sacrifice for each other was beauteous! The author did a splendid job of mixing a good amount of history with a perfect balance of struggle, family, love, devotion, deceit, and all the things that become important when a country is in crisis and two people are fighting to hold on to the one thing that gives them the strength and will to survive.
The story takes place in 1941 in Leningrad, Russia, when the country is at war with Germany. Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, fall in love with the same man, a Red Army officer named Alexander or "Shura." Tatiana struggles to do what is right by her family while hiding the love and devotion she feels for Shura. Her story unfolds as the war progresses and her family falls victim to the perils of a nation at war. Shura and Tatiana share a love that stands the test of devotion to one's family and country.
The size of the book is daunting, but don't let that stop you. At first I thought, no way will I finish this book anytime soon, it's longer than War & Peace! No not really. :) I was wrong, though, I finished it in about 5 days because I could not put it down. It stayed on my mind the whole time, and all I could think of was when I could get back to Shura and Tatiana's story. Such a great read! Absolute perfection!