|Title: The Summer Garden|
Author: Paullina Simons
Pages / Year: 746 / 2006
AHHHHH *insert a river made of tears* holy molly guacamole, what an amazing book!
To start this review off, let's all gather together in a minute of silence because I finished this trilogy. I did say I'd read all these books this year but I didn't expect to read them all so quickly especially when I wanted them to last forever (and since I read them all in english, I have already started my quest and going to the stores to search for the books in portuguese...tho this 3rd one isn't translated yet :( :( )
What to say about this book?? Simply fascinating. I am now suchhhh a huge fan of Paullina Simons and of her writing. And more than that, of Tatia and Shura *hearts* *hearts*
At the beginning, we read about the daily routines of Tatiana, Alexander and Anthony, the 3 of them in their own lives, living, growing, loving and travelling through the United States and at the start I even thought this would be 700 pages of sweetness and cuteness and lots of love and that we would get to the middle of the book with 40 kids and 300 discussions about banal stuff (all hail banal stuff, in the other books they'd go to the war and almost die!) and that kind of stuff. I thought this would be a book written simply because Paullina loved these two so much that she didn't want to let go of them and wanted to give us a book filled with piece and love.
HA HA HA HA, to me..
THIS BOOK!!!!! THIS BOOK!!!!! Oh my God.
So when in the middle of the book, Alexander starts having his existential crisis because Tatia is not like the wives of his buddies and works and is basically ahead of her own time, a person (as in, me) kinda gets upset with Alex and wants to hurt him because he is so unreasonable and unfair, and a lot of emotions arise in those moments. I mean, let's not forget that Shura is only alive because Tatia is Tatia and does everything in her Tatia way!
But then... THEN!!!! Then we forgive Alex for everything because...BECAUSE!!!! I'll tell you about it in the spoilers, yes? Because if you haven't read this baby yet, then you have to go and read it. And if you have read it, then let's debate the most stupid, idiotic and heart-wrenching decision ever taken, below the cut, yes?
I'll also tell you that I have a bunch of favorite quotes because the writing is so good but this one is my fav (it's possible that I'll make a top 10 fav quotes by Paullina Simons post sometime):
"I’m getting off the boat at Coconut Grove. It’s six and you’re not on the dock. I finish up, and start walking home, thinking you’re tied up making dinner, and then I see you and Ant hurrying down the promenade. He is running and you’re running after him. You’re wearing a yellow dress. He jumps on me, and you stop shyly, and I say to you, come on, tadpole, show me what you got, and you laugh and run and jump into my arms. Such a good memory.
I love you, babe."
Read everything I think about this trilogy:
First thoughts on "The Bronze Horseman" [book 1]
Opinion on "The Bronze Horseman"
Favorite quotes from "The Bronze Horseman"
First thoughts on "Tatiana and Alexander" [book 2]
First thoughts on "The Summer Garden" [book 3]
****************** SPOILERS BELLOOOOOW******************
You do know what I want to talk about in this spoilers, right??? THAT ANTHONY BOY!!!!!
Oh my God, here I was in my calm and peaceful life of a reader, loving what I read and how peaceful it was and loving that I wasn't gonna panic this time because Alex wasn't going to go to war and Tatiana wouldn't follow him (and have us all like 'noooooooo'), and then Anthony decides to go to Vietnam!
Thank you, Ant, thank you. (internally I screamed: was this how I raised you?????)
And there it was, Alex went after him. And it was then that I forgave him for everything dumb he had done along the trilogy, even if sometimes he was impossible, but he went after our little baby (yes, our) and he was already 50 and.... and... and he didn't let Tatia go herself (we all know she would). I imagine that during this war time she stayed home and bit herself for having to stay away from bombs and grenades and almost getting killed!!!!
I was also super shocked with Ant and Vicky's relationship? Say whaaaaat??? He always screamed and panicked when he saw her and then... and then??? But after the initial shock, I kinda shipped them both. It hurt when she died :( and why did Ant have to have a crazy woman instead of a great woman?? After Moon Lai he deserved to have a Kerri and not an Ingrid :(
The last spoiler that I want to talk about is the last chapter: was I the only one that read this whole chapter going like "please don't die, please don't die, please don't die"??? I know that nobody is eternal but, man, I don't need to see Tatia or Shura leaving this world, okay?
So, thank you Paullina for letting them live. And for murdering my emotions a lot of times (and for making me enjoy having my heart stabbed a hundred times).