Spoiler Alert - Don't read unless you've read 86% of The Summer Garden.
OK. I lived through it. The cheating. And it wasn't easy. No siree, it was not. What got me through? The fact that Shura came clean. He told Tania everything that happened, right down to the last sordid, disgusting, puke-worthy detail. And I agree with Tania; I wouldn't have wanted to hear it either. But she had to know - in order to move past it - and continue to be as close with Shura. Or she'd always be wondering. I can only hope he told her how gross he ultimately thought Cha Cha - I mean Carmen was. Ugh and that girdle?! That had me in hysterics...because Shannon and I always joke that if we were ever in a position to have to date again, we'd have to excuse ourselves before the moment of truth to go to the bathroom and remove our Spanx.
OK - back to the matter at hand. One minute I was (reluctantly) forgiving Shura for getting some strange in the back seat of a Ford sedan...and the next I'm trotting through North Vietnam, looking for (that dumbass who I can't help but love) Anthony. And Moon Lai? UGH! I will fully admit that - at this point - I want NOTHING to do with her and her pregnant ass. She can "Me love you long time" her rear end right out of the story and I won't even care. I am honestly praying that something is amiss with Ant's letter and that child is not his. Perhaps I'll change my mind when he is found and I am shown how "in love" they are or something...but for right now I'd kindof like Alexander to "accidentally" throw a grenade in her path. (Oh my karma is BOILING for saying that.) I mean seriously. Don't you want a nice, sweet girl for Antman? Hell - I kindof liked the idea of him being with Vikki! They're so star-crossed...their story should be in Songs of Love and Death.
And speaking of bad karma - I am so thrilled to be finished with Saika, I don't know what to do with myself. I will admit, I wasn't really thrilled at how they left her dying in the woods - but she deserved it, let's be honest. Frankly, I think Marina deserved it too. How long do you go on playing that "I didn't knowwwww" game? Tania is so good. She knows that blood is thicker than water. And I am trying to think of all the ways that portion of the Luga stories relates to the current portion of the book (you know...like Saika's leeches and Shura's Cholla) besides the obvious; traipsing around the jungle in Vietnam.
OK girls and boys - I must get back to it. Shura is calling me from the bamboo. I can't leave him alone for too long...you know how he gets.
I am DYING at your Spanx comment! So funny!ReplyDelete
'Shura is calling me from the bamboo. I can't leave him alone for too long... you know how he gets.'ReplyDelete
Good grief, woman, do you know how hard I am laughing right now?
It took me a very long time to forgive Shura for his little romp action in the Ford. I don't think I could ever forgive, Tatiana is a better women then me! And then Antman and Vicki, never saw that one! Can you even imagine your son is MIA and then your husband is going off to find him. I can't believe the direction of this book. I guess I could go on and on! So good!!!! JenReplyDelete
Ok, you're finally getting to the part of the book where I was like WTH? Totally felt like we were reliving Tania's trip to rescue Shura. Didn't believe it, didn't buy it. It actually makes me angry. I thought the whole things could have been wrapped up nicely somehow and we wouldn't have to fight Shura's war again through his son.ReplyDelete
So true - I couldnt believe paullina would take you into the freaking viet cong belly! My favorite part of this is when they go to the Mexican food restaurant they love and Tania is super pregnant and you know all is well. Fave line: when Anthony is wearing his dress whites and his little bro says, Antman, what are you doing in your ice cream man uniform. SO little sibling. I cherished seeing tatiana and shura's family grow!ReplyDelete
I didn't think that I'd ever be able to forgive Alexander for being in the backseat with Carmen (or waiting outside the motel in his truck), but that scene (I think Hildy calls it the "Uber Fight") where they yell at each other and end up crawling around on the deck because they're both so emotionally spent? Ugh. Perfection. I love when he puts his face in the ice to calm himself down, and then he tends to Tania's wounds (though don't get me started on how she got those wounds in the first place. NOT loving that - I don't care how pissed you are, Shura!) He HAD to tell her everything, even though she didn't want to hear it. She needed to know every single detail in order to let herself get past it. I totally understand. There is a part where Shura is thinking about what's happening to them (major paraphrasing from memory here) "This couldn't be happening to us. We're Alexander and Tatiana!" I loved being inside his head here.ReplyDelete
Oh, and the scene at the restaurant on their anniversary later that year. (Not to mention delivering baby Pasha!) Pure Bliss. :-)
And how about the bombshell that Vikki and Antman had had a years-long affair?? LOVED IT! OK, maybe not at first, but shortly thereafter (Sorry, Richter!)
OK, and now on to Vietnam. I KNOW - I couldn't believe where this story was going (literally! lol)
The whole Vietnam storyline...did anyone else just not buy it? I mean, Alexander goes in once a month (more or less) to translate Russian documents and intelligence. It's not like he's on active duty, and all of a sudden he's in the middle of a war zone with all this support to look for ONE missing soldier? I don't know....the whole thing just didn't seem plausible to me.ReplyDelete
Someone please tell me I'm wrong and that this scenario is possible.
Tom Richter made it believable for me. I figured he pulled strings and got Alexander clearance to be there. (Also, they needed everyone they could get, right?)ReplyDelete
I think I was OK with the Vietnam story because a) I thought it was so powerful and interesting (loved Platoon for the same reason) and b) I really need to learn the history of Russia and their arms back then. I really didn't know they supplied so many countries with weapons in order to foster Communism. And OK - I'll throw a c) in there...I have a friend from high school who's parents got her and her brother out of Vietnam on a scooter (yes, all 4 of them on one bike) so I always have a soft spot for the Vietnam rescues.
I almost had a harder time with Tania sleeping naked every night of her life than I did with Vietnam. LOL I guess I'm pretty boring in that department. ;)
"I almost had a harder time with Tania sleeping naked every night of her life."ReplyDelete
LOL!! So funny, Carol.
I loved the Vietnam stuff. I totally bought it. It reminded me of a film with Gene Hackman where he gathered some guys together to go and get his son. Maybe I've seen too many movies.
The fight scene between Shura and Tania nearly ripped my heart out! I felt like I was on the deck with them. It was so raw and so emotional from both of them. I could feel the individual emotions as I read each line they spoke to each other. I was floored when Tatiana told him what she would do if she was carrying his child. My heart sank! I understand his reaction to this but don't condone it. But was where was he supposed to go after what she said? When she asked him how he thought she would react when she found out and he said " I didn't think you would care. " That ripped my heart out. That's when I really realized he could never live without her. She was eveything to him. She could've moved on with a shattered heart but he couldn't and probably wouldn't.ReplyDelete
I have to agree with Carol, his indescretion was hard to forgive but Tania's was worse because it was emotional adultry. You can move past the plainly physical adultry but the emotional adultry is much more devastating.
I dont think I've ever read a scene from any book as raw and true to human nature as this. PaullinaSimons deserves so many accolades for this!
She literally went into a war-torn Europe and into Soviet territory to save his LIFE. And he rewarded her with his dick being sucked by Carmen? While she was pregnant? I never thought it was possible to hate a non-existent fictional person SOOOOO HARD. Forgive him? FORGIVE HIM? She should have cut his dick off, buried in the desert, and flown to New York and married Edward.ReplyDelete