Saturday, June 11, 2011

Bring Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Huddled Masses

Spoiler Alert:  Don't read unless you have finished The Bronze Horseman and have read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  

"Dark angels follow me over a godless sea...mountains of endless falling for all my days remaining..."  ~Sting

I am speechless.  I have been hiding from my family in the bathroom and sobbing uncontrollably for the last 10 minutes.  What a book.  What an ending.  I am spent.  I am emotionally exhausted.  I am thinking back to someone over at MOP saying The Bronze Horseman was boring (I had my own doubts in the first 20 pages) and am thinking "Oh you need to pick this book up aGAIN because there is NO way you could have read the whole thing and thought it was boring!"

I have so much in my brain right now...and I don't know how to make it spill out.  I sometimes think profound thoughts while I'm falling asleep or crying in the bathroom or throwing cookies in the oven...(cookies I plan to devour in my sadness in about 5 minutes).  But try to get them out on the computer and I'm SOL. 

I will say this:  I almost think we need to see Tatiana alone in the US...just for a little while.  I want to watch her experiencing the United States...and FREEDOM...without Alexander telling her not to look at men or waxing on about his latest medal of honor (oh I know, I'm not being fair...I do love him...I'll get to that in a minute).  I need to see Tania by herself for a little while.  She is so wide-eyed about everything.  Her reactions are going to be fantastic.  My god - her reaction to a turkey sandwich was epic!  Wait until she sees the Statue of Liberty or goes to a big grocery store or sees a baseball stadium.  She's going to lose her mind!  And she's going to love it.  And she's going to hate herself for loving it because her Shura isn't there.  And she's got baby Alex there to ease her suffering. 

My god - it's killing me...all this suffering.  Paullina Simons is so amazing.  The way she launches into these reveries about Alex and Tatia and the things they did together...she takes the reader with her through the ups and downs.  You feel like you are inside their brains, experiencing all of this with them.  And here I was complaining about it not being in the first person!

Now - on to Alexander.  On to Shura.  My god - what a sacrifice.  I am so proud of him.  And now I'm crying again.  I am so sad for him...I am so worried about him.  He must be in agony.  This is Jamie and Claire all over again...but worse.  I have never been on board with Tracey's opinion that Claire had it worse than Jamie during their 20 years apart.  I think that Alex - like Jamie - has a miserable existence...rotting away in jail and thinking he'll never see the love of his life - or his baby...his SON - again.  And what  a decent soul he has...he is.  I just can't even comprehend how he is going to get through this.  As he said, he was at his wit's end before he met Tatia; what will he do now?!?

Part of me thinks I should give it until tomorrow to start the next book.  And part of me can't STAND the thought of not knowing. 

And part of me is scared the not knowing is going to go on and on and I'm heading into a sea of darkness where Alexander is concerned. 

And part of me is a little worried about Dr. Edward Ludlow.

But the biggest part of me can't WAIT for Tania to put 2 and 2 together:

"Orbeli--"


44 comments:

  1. Very insightful Carol! You not only read TBH, you devoured every nuance. I'm amazed at your insightfulness. Looking forward to your thoughts on T&A. You inspired me to do a re-read, as many others here. I wasn't sure we'd ever see you leave Lazaravo! You came out of it with the same tears and heartache we all had. BTW, I love music selections.

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  2. Carol, I'm so glad you loved this book. It's such an emotional read. Every time I pick up this book. I can turn to any page and be sucked right back in. It stirs up so many emotions. And Alexander, he's not perfect, but he sure is wonderful. He just pulls at my heart.

    I've read this book so many times, but just this week I picked up on something new. When Tatiana was yelling at Alexander in Lazarevo during their big fight, she says something like, "I needed just one single word from you to know that my life was not a lie. Just one single word." I FINALLY connected this to the ending and Orbeli. I understood why it was so important for him to leave her with a single word. :( I can't believe I had missed that so many times.

    Every time I give one of my friends TBH, I never tell them that there are more books. I think I'm twisted, but I always want them to experience the book as a whole, the way Paullina wrote it. However, I always get in the car and drive over T and A shortly afterwards. Unfortunately, I did that a couple of weeks ago and my friend still has my book. I really need to read book 2 along with you.

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us. I feel like I've been stalking you this week. :)

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  3. This ending was so depressing. I couldn't bear the thought of Alexander dying or going to prison or of them being separated.

    Even though Tatiana could benefit from time on her own in America (I agree), I don't want to see it. They just need to be together. Anything else is unbearable.

    I think we need a VIDEO!!!

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  4. See, here's the thing... you KNOW that there's another book. And you KNOW the name of the book is Tatiana and Alexander. When I finished TBH I DIDN'T. I thought it was over. Done. Finished. Put that in your kleenex box and smoke it!

    Oh, and yeah... potato shelf. Comments, please? :)

    By the way, let me just say, for the final time, yeah... you're welcome!

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  5. Christie et al - if I had finished this book and there was not another waiting for me, there would be no MOP...No MBHP...only me, in a corner, rocking back and forth and going "bbb bbb bbb" with my finger up and down my lips.

    Thank GOD for T&A. (Giggle) Can't wait to start.

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  6. Yeah, that was unexpected, a book I'd never heard of at all (I'd heard of Outlander, just never read it) sucking me in and churning everything up like that. So do think Tracey will like it as much as you?

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  7. I do, Clay. I emailed her last night and insisted that she read it before doing a Fiery Cross reread. Right now she's about to start A Discovery of Witches with her book club - and then hopefully she'll start TBH.

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  8. Carol, I always giggle when I write T&A. Are you going to start it today? I'm thinking about driving 30 min to the library that I know has it, in order to re-read with you. Plus, it helps me to not spoil anything cause I know exactly where you are. I should never have let my friend borrow my book. :)

    Oh, were you surprised by Dimitri's fate? It's kind of bittersweet.

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  9. I was thrilled by Dimitri's fate. Hope that doesn't make me a horrible person!
    ;)michelle

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  10. SPOILER ALERT - don't read unless you've gotten well into the beginning stages of Tatiana and Alexander.

    Yes! Started this AM and now I'm headed out to my patio for some iced tea and Shura! And I'm surprised at what's happening right now...he's on the ice and he is a BADASS and the jeep ended up in the lake. I'm starting to think he might actually escape!! More later!

    PS - Tracey is starting A Discovery of Witches for her book club today and then it's on to TBH!!! I will be HER mentor again!

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  11. He IS a BADASS, Carol! I didn't think it was possible for him to get even hotter, but I was so very wrong. :)

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  12. Michelle,
    I was happy about Dimitri's fate as well. It just came at a time when I was so beaten down by what had happened to Alexander and Tatiana that it was hard for me to show proper enthusiasm.

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  13. Yes, good riddance to Dimitri. I just wish Alexander could know that he wasn't around anymore to cause problems for Tatiana.

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  14. Hildy,
    you are a genius!! I never fully understood the "one word" before!! And _yes_ you are VERY twisted! I can't believe you let your friends think there's only one book.......ha! Meanie!

    Christie,
    How in the world did you cope? How long was it before you realized there was more books in the series?

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  15. Carol,
    I'm cutting and pasting a link to a series on Youtube. I'm not sure if you want it, so go ahead and delete it if you like.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXQlJrttpOU

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  16. I only wished he could have killed Dmitri himself. Then I was hoping Tania would shoot him in the face. Oh well, he got what he deserved.

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  17. Jennifer J, I'm not sure I can be called a genius since it took me approximately 12 reads of that fight to finally make the link. But, I'll take the compliment when I can get it! :) I love how Paullina writes confrontational scenes. She's truly gifted.

    The first time one of my friends read the book was an honest error on my part. I didn't know she was going to take my recommendation. I got an email several weeks later and she had finished 2 weeks before and couldn't stop thinking about it. Oopsy!! I felt terrible! She ran out and got T&A that day. Then, I became twisted. :) I've done it twice since. (insert diabolical laugh here) I do tell them they have to call me the minute they finish though. LOL.

    Clay, I would have loved for Alexander or Tatiana to have killed Dimitri (insert diabolical laugh here). Sorry, I'm getting carried away now. I'm really very sweet. ;)

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  18. It would of been nice if Alexander or Tatiana could of done in Dimitri, at least he is out of the picture. So am I the only one that it still really troubles me that Alexander slept with Dasha? I just can't get over it:( I guess when Alexander actually sent Tatiana away to go to the U.S. he was redeemed in my eyes. I am so happy there are two more books:) So did I miss the "Orbeli", I guess I should of just gone to bed instead of read. Can't wait to read tonight:) Jen

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  19. Do we know for sure he slept with Dasha after he met Tania? I admit I have only read it once, but I was under the impression he didn't. I don't think we should be bothered by the fact he slept with her before since it sounds like there were dozens, at least.

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  20. I just remember the conversation when she asked him about Dasha and her abortions and she asked Alexander if any of them were his. He said no but he didn't argue that he didn't sleep with her. For some reason it bothers me that Tatiana was up on the roof while Dasha and Alexander in the room alone. If he loved her that much he could keep it in his pants!

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  21. Jennifer, I agree. He should have definitely kept it in his pants. However, he was trying to "keep up appearances", right?! Maybe Dasha would have been suspicious if he didn't do it at least once. And in my mind it was only once. I have read book 1, only once, so I'm sure I've missed some things...

    Hildy, I know what you mean about the timing of Dimitri's fate. And it would have been so great if Tatiana had killed him!
    Ha!!!
    :)Michelle

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  22. This question of Alexander sleeping with Dasha is much debated. It's not super clear. It bothered me when I read it but it doesn't really bother me now. That girl was pushed on him time and time again.

    Here's what I think: Once he met Tatiana, I think he stopped sleeping with her until after Luga. After Luga, which was in August, he slept with Dasha until St. Isaac's. This goes with what Dasha says, "We haven't been together since August." Until Dasha said that, I wasn't quite sure if he was sleeping with her or not. I'm hoping Dasha is a big, fat, liar. :) I guess what I wonder is why. At first, I thought it was cause Dasha was really pushy and he was trying to keep up appearances. Now, I think he may have been (lamely) attempting to make it work with Dasha. He didn't see how it was ever going to work with Tatiana and thought she deserved better. After the fight with her parents, he seemed to realize that he couldn't give Tatiana up and stopped sleeping with Dasha again.

    Jeesh!!!! Do I make any sense at all???? Gah!!

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  23. Hildy I get what your sayng and
    you could be right. It is not crystal clear that they slept together, but it sure seems to reference that they did. It also bothers me that this didn't seem to bother Tatiana as much as you would think. Maybe it will be resolved in the other books? I am enjoying the second book, and so glad the 3rd is out this month:)

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  24. Y'all are totally cracking me up!

    Ummm.... yeah. I read TBH on the recommendation of something I read somewhere about it being a good substitute for JAMMF... :)
    That was all I was expecting. And then, when I got to the end, I was, to put it mildly, DEPRESSED for DAYS. Picture Nancy Kerrigan, rolling on the floor, moaning 'Why? Why? Why?' As in 'why did they tell me to read this book?' 'why did I listen to them?' 'why is my Shura dead?' And then something happened... What you ask? Orbeli. Hmm... what does Orbeli mean???
    I got online and found out that there was another book... which my library did NOT have, and moved heaven and earth, not to mention a few UPS men, to get it...

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  25. In my mind, there's no doubt he slept with Dasha. She says they did, he doesn't deny it when Tatiana asks about the abortions. They did it. Severral times. Blech.

    I think what annoys me even more than the sex thing is the whole "Alexander and I are getting married! Isn't it wonderful?!" thing. That's really when I wanted to smack Dasha. She really was clueless. And Tatiana was broken over that.

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  26. This series utterly floored me!

    I feel so lucky to have read it - after TBH, T&A was on Kindle and I could get my fix immediately. And joining you guys in the re-read has been the BEST! I'm actually enjoying it more. Actually, sometimes with the Outlander re-read, the historical and war parts drag a teensy bit, and in this case, if i skip anything, it's because i can't handle the pain!

    I know Alexander is not perfect: he's shaped by what his parents did and his wartime code of ethics. He IS hard, he's controlling, he's no metrosexual :-) In my mind, he stopped sleeping with Dasha when he met Tania, and IF he didn't, it's because she had convinced him to make a go of it with Dasha (but I'm still not mad at him). I think all I need to know about Shura is that his love for Tatiana represented the man he wanted to be (maybe not the man he was), and that he sacrificed everything he possessed for her safety from day one, when he entrusted her with his secret, his money, his rations, his military intel, and more. Also, I agree that the one left behind has it worse than the one who escapes, but no one has it easy!

    can't wait for Tatiana and Alexander posts!!!!!

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  27. Came across this on Paullina Simons' FB page: a link from a German paper of photos of the siege on Leningrad. Very gory and unbelievable but brings so much of what these characters lived through to life.
    http://einestages.spiegel.de/external/ShowTopicAlbumBackground/a22863/l3/l0/F.html#featuredEntry

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  28. Carol, I'm so glad that you discovered The Bronze Horseman Series. After OL, it's my favorite series. When I finished TBH, I didn't realize that there were 2 more books and was completely heartbroken. Kept picking up the book and looking at it and couldn't read another for a while until I found out that there were more. Wait until you get to The Summer Garden. Enjoy

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  29. Christie,
    Nancy Kerrigan???? Ohhhhh, the pain!!! LMAO!!

    But seriously..........I can't imagine not knowing there were 2 more books.

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  30. Jennifer,
    I bothers me to the CORE of my being that anything went on in that room.........other than checkers. I made panicked calls to 3 of my friends who read the book (b/c I made them). They ALL said, "Oh, yeah, they were totally doing IT!". I said,"But what about St.Isaac's?" They all said Alexander "gave up" everyone BUT Dasha. Yuck.

    I asked my husband if he thought Alexander would be able to "rise to the occasion" with her parents 3 yards away, and Tatiana on the roof. He just laughed at me and said, "I'm sure he wouldn't have a problem!" Blah.

    I hate to sound like Ross, but I know there were a couple of times they were on a "break". But I want to know about the Fifth Soviet rendezvous(s).

    I'm rereading the next two books. If I don't find an answer............let's draw straws and see who gets to email Paullina.

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  31. Jennifer J,
    Dasha/Alexander has been discussed on her website many times. She never answers. Paullina does the whole mysterious author thing. I wish she'd answer. It may be worth a try.

    However, it doesn't bother me. Tatiana handed the love of her life over to her sister, many, many times. I can't really blame the guy. Plus, I find solace in the fact that I don't think it was his best work. :) I also don't think he was initiating it. He may have done it a couple of times to shut her up. :) Dasha was so annoying.

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  32. Forgive me if this has been discussed already; I am in hard core skim mode with these comments. I will come back and read them all when I'm finished #3.

    Dasha said they hadn't been together since August. August is when Shura saved Tatia. So after that - he was a good boy. AND - correct me if I'm wrong - but August/Sept is when the grandparents moved out and the room was available. (Remember - Tatia wasn't getting the cast off until September.) Which means that all those times Dasha told Tatia to get out, they weren't doing the nasty. We don't know what they WERE doing - but it wasn't that.

    Am I right on all of this?

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  33. Tatiana went to Luga at the end of July. Maybe Dasha meant July.

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  34. Rochelle I totally agree with you and the whole marriage between Dasha and Alexander. I was so sick to my stomach during that whole time! I am getting to the end of T&A, so I don't want to say too much:) Can't believe these books!!!!! Is June 21st tomorrow? I am going to have a very long week ahead waiting for book 3:( Jen

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  35. Hildy, Carol, Jennifer,

    That is the only sucky part of having a Kindle..........it's too hard to go back and check out facts. I need a hard copy of this series (just like Outlander).

    If I remember correctly, they were on a "break" a couple of times, right? Tatiana told him off right before Luga and then Alexander told her they were done after the hospital visit, right?

    I must make my way to "Chapters" today......

    Also, I DO have some experience with critically ill people. They aren't exactly reliable. Dasha must have been suffering from heart failure, renal failure, etc. I'm not sure she can totally be trusted............seeing as she was about 24hours away from kicking the bucket.

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  36. Jennifer J, I like the whole "Dasha doesn't know what she's talkin' about" theory.

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  37. Hildy,
    ha, I can't help it.......I'm Catholic...........we love to live in denial.

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  38. Jennifer J, LOL! That must be why I so easily bought into your theory!

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  39. OK - I have finished the book - PLEASE do not think I'm stupid; but can someone spell out what the significance of Orbeli is? Like Tatiana at this point- I'm missing the boat. :(

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  40. I know that these comments are from 6 months ago, but I have GOT to thank you for your blog!!! I would never have made it through this book without your hilarious, truthful, and thought provoking posts! They keep me looking sane in front of my hubby and kids. :) Since I have no one else to lean on while reading this trilogy, you and everyone who comments are my secret mentors. ;)

    I am just hoping this emotional roller coaster will be worth it in the end...

    Jill

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  41. Welcome, Jill!! No worries - we are with you, girl!! We've all been where you are. It is not easy - but it is SUCH a wonderful journey!!! :)

    We'll keep checking on you, just in case you need any help! :)

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  42. Holy cow - I'm just seeing your post, Julia! I'm so sorry! He was the curator at the museum...who was shipping all of his treasures off to keep them safe! :)

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  43. Yay! My comment worked! :) I have tried to comment on your ridiculously awesome Outlander blog and it has never went through. Anywho, I am 100 pages into Tatiana and Alexander and on every page I am dying a little with them. It is incredibly hard to read! :( I am feeling myself start to skim... I am having flashbacks of New Moon. Just get to EDWARD!! I would scream (during my first read of it) However, it was a happy ending for B and E - I am already feeling as things are not going to be so happy for T and A... Seriously, tell me it gets better. This is some harsh heartache I have going on! I'm not gonna make it. I have 400 plus pages left. GAH!!!

    As my husband says, as he watches me read and listens to me cry and complain to him, 'Honey, it's only a book. These people aren't real.' Can you believe he said that?! *gasp* The gull of him! ;)

    Jill

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  44. Oh Carol. I think you just cleared up the Orbeli thing for me too. I just finished TBH today and was wondering about the significance. So...A is alluding to the fact that HE'S sending T off to be safe, and thus maybe telling her that he isn't dead? Or wait, I think HE thinks he's going to be killed at any rate, right? So, he thinks that he's sending her off to be safe and is hoping that will be some solace to her when he's gone?? Gah.

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