The Summer Garden
Set at the end of the Second World War, this is the conclusion to a saga that was set in motion in the two earlier books, The Bronze Horseman and Tatiana and Alexander, when Tatiana fell in love with her Red Army officer, Alexander Belov, in wartime Leningrad in 1941.
After years of separation they are miraculously reunited in the United States, the land of their dreams. They have a beautiful son, Anthony. However, in the climate of fear and distrust of the Cold War, their future as a family is threatened. They are forced to continually move around the U.S. to avoid discovery and investigation by the State Department into Alexander’s background as a potential Communist sympathiser.
As their family grows, the ghosts of their past life continue to haunt them; Anthony graduates from West Point and joins the American forces in Vietnam. He is reported missing and when Alexander sets out to find him he discovers that his son has been captured and ill treated by the Vietcong. His mutilation is horrifyingly descriptive.
The book is written with a depth of power and emotion and paints a vivid portrait of family relationships, highlighted by explicit love scenes. The frequent flash-backs to the family’s previous life in the USSR are of real interest even though they tend to break up the main theme of the story. An enjoyable, romantic 20th-century saga that spans three continents.