Tatiana and Alexander: A Love Story

Written by Paullina Simons
Review by Nanette Donohue

Eighteen-year-old Tatiana has escaped from the Soviet Union, but the fate of her husband, Alexander, is unknown. Alexander, born in theUnited States but raised in the Soviet Union by his communist parents, is an officer in the Red Army – but if his superiors find out about his past or his secret marriage to Tatiana, he will be killed as a spy.

Tatiana and her newborn son arrive in New York, where she finds work as a nurse at Ellis Island and begins to assimilate into American culture, while Alexander struggles to survive life in the Red Army during the dismal and desperate final days of World War II. The star-crossed lovers have only memories of one other to sustain them, and little hope of a reunion, but they both persist in trying to find each other.

While Tatiana and Alexander could stand as an independent novel, reading The Bronze Horseman, the first novel in the trilogy, provides some much-needed background information on both of the main characters’ pasts. Like The Bronze Horseman, Tatiana and Alexander is at its best when Tatiana and Alexander are separated from each other, whether by distance or by circumstance. When they’re together, they’re either fighting or they’re having sex, which becomes tiresome. I was happy to see Tatiana come into her own as a capable, intelligent young woman who uses her knowledge and empathy to heal the sick and wounded.

While there are a few too many tidy coincidences leading to a happy ending, I still couldn’t stop reading this engaging melodrama. I look forward to the 2011 U.S. release of the final book in the trilogy.