Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's My Blog and I'll Stop if I Want to.


SPOILER ALERT - don't read unless you have read 95% of The Summer Garden.

I have a problem. I can't read the rest of this book. This has NEVER happened to me before. I'll admit, I have put books down before. Because they sucked. Not because they were so good I didn't want them to end. And more so, because I can't read one line without tearing up. I kid you not.

I am at the Pediatrician with my son and had to put the book down because Anthony's son (Anthony's SON!) referred to Shura as Grandpa and I started getting choked up. As I did when Tatiana was making cookies with her granddaughters...and as I did when Anthony got nominated by Ronald Reagan, etc, etc. It's just awful. I was crying on the treadmill yesterday. CRYING. On the TREADMILL. Who does that??? I kept hearing Tom Hanks say "there's no crying in exercise!!!!"

Anywho...I will blog when I'm finally able to finish. But honestly, I don't want to. If I stop now, Tatiana and Shura will be forever at their counter, eating Tania's cooking with their family. Can't I just leave them that way, forever preserved in my memory???

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

39 comments:

  1. Carol...you still have Tatiana's Table! There are little stories we haven't seen before in there and a really great "what if" in it...It's basically Paullina writing a different scenario to something we've already seen in the book.

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  2. I hear ya....I finished last week and waiting to see what you thought of the end. Anthony's life killed me!!!! You do what you have to do.

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  3. I totally hear you, Carol! I just kept telling myself "You can reread, you can reread...." That got me through. :-)

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  4. Yeah... I read a lot this past weekend, till 3:30 in the morning Monday night and 1:45 last night and finished. i never considered not finishing, but I have a 2-week trip to China stating Saturday so can reread pretty easily.

    Very very good series, thanks to Christie for the recommendation.

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  5. Yes! I definitely feel you. On one level I was sad to miss so many years of their lives...
    On another, how amazing and unbelievable that Alexander and Tatiana got to have what they never dared to dream of when they met on that street corner in Leningrad: long, healthy life; old age surrounded by their children and grandchildren and family and food (after the siege on Leningrad! so much food!) and the peace and safety of their arizona lives :-)
    SO Satisfying.

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  6. Sirena, you summed it up perfectly. :-)

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  7. Don't cry and don't be afraid. I was happy with the ending.

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  8. Thanks Bonnie. You hit the nail on the head: I'm afraid. But I have to keep going, even though I know I'm going to continue to cry through all "the happy". :)

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  9. I am with you carol I don't want to say goodbye to them. I am at 99perc. And I can't pick iit up yet. I want them to stay in my life right now.

    Ps. totally making preacher cookies for my kids

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  10. I cried while reading "the scene" in Dragonfly in Amber, but I BAWLED reading the end of this book. I felt ridiculous, and there were several tissues and even some sinus congestion/headache meds. involved. I get stuffy when I cry, so that was preemptive strategy on my part.

    I had a hard time envisioning them as old. Alexander was 50ish, then he was 80. My brain had a hard time adjusting, but I am glad we got a glimpse of their lives near the end. It was very satisfying.

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  11. I cried my way through the end as well. Big problem: what do I read next. I need another sweeping historical fiction series. Any suggestions?
    Theresa

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  12. There's another series that I really loved - also 3 books. It's a book quite like BH and Outlander - a great love story full of adventure, tragedy & happiness. The author loosely based it on her own great grandmother.

    The first is called: These is my Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901....It got 5 stars on Amazon..definitely a must read! They've have earned a spot on my "display" bookshelf next to my Outlander, Harry Potter, Bronze Horseman & my entire Anne Rice collection :).

    The next two books are called Sarah's Quilt and The Star Garden (these both got 4.5 stars on Amazon).

    Here's a synopsis for those interested:

    This novel in diary format parallels the early history of the Arizona Territories as Sarah and her family travel from the New Mexico Territory and settle down to carve out a new life on a ranch near Tucson in the 1880s. Sarah's diary, based on the author's family memoirs, is a heartwarming and heartbreaking fictional account of a vibrant and gifted young woman. Sarah starts out as an illiterate, fiery 17 year old. Eventually, her writing becomes as smooth and polished as Sarah herself as she becomes a tenacious, literate, and loving wife and mother. A treasure trove of discovered books becomes the source of her self-education. Turner describes the trip in such detail that one has a sense of having traveled with Sarah, experiencing all of its heartache and sadness, its backbreaking exertion and struggles, its danger and adventure, its gentle and lighter moments. Life in the new country brings the constant fear of Indian raids and the threat and reality of floods, fire, and rattlesnakes; bandits; rough men, and pretentious women all have an effect on the protagonist but her strong marriage makes the effort worthwhile. Sarah centers her world around her home and family but maintains an independent spirit that keeps her whole and alive throughout her many trials and heartaches. This is a beautifully written book that quickly captures readers' attention and holds it tightly and emotionally until the end.

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  13. oops - forgot to say the author! It's Nancy E. Turner

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  14. I am glad I wasn't the only one balling my eyes out the last part of the book! Loved it!!!! Jen

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  15. Teresa you might like Into the Wilderness by Sara Donati. It is funny there are reference to Claire and Jamie from Outlanders. Jen

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  16. I wouldn't say I was bawling my eyes out... but definitely a lot of tears. Very very touching, I would have to say some of my favorite characters, ever. And dare I say it... I like Tania more than Claire. There I said it.

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  17. I have Sara Donati's series here to read - I really need to get to it soon. I heard that Young Ian was in one of the books??

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  18. Into the Wilderness is on my list to read next. Thanks Brandy for the other recommendation.

    I loved seeing Tatiana and Alexander with a great big family, especially since they were both orphans. It was lovely to see that they'd grown old together. Great ending. I was definitely teary-eyed.

    If you need more of them, you could also try finding The Bridge to Holy Cross which is her first edition of Tatiana and Alexander. It has extra chapters (Lazarevo) and an epilogue which she took out of later editions since she decided to write TSG and it didn't lead into it as well. If anyone is in Canada, some libraries have TBTHC version with the title of Tatiana and Alexander. I know, it's confusing. You just have to look for the epilogue and 46 chapters.

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  19. Another random thought: I really loved this book. I really did. BUT I was really disappointed we didn't get to read about Alexander seeing Anthony for the first time. I was soooo looking forward to that, and feel a bit cheated.

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  20. I cried something awful at the end of this book too...

    OF COURSE I can't help but think that she could have stretched this series out for a couple more books if there hadn't been the time gaps, but it worked all so beautifully. I wasn't ready to say goodbye, but I also feel like I haven't said goodbye at all when a reader like Carol picks this up and now we have this amazing website to check in to - so great.
    As long as people read these books and it moves us to tears, and laughter, and a little rage, then Tatiana and Shura are forever at their counter :-) If anyone else has recommendations about what in the world can follow TBH, I'm all ears!
    As much as I adore Outlander, this series has a beating heart from page one through multiple rereads and it doesn't fade :-)
    THANKS Carol for giving us all such an amazing TBH reader experience!!

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  21. If you read the epilogue of The Bridge to Holy Cross, Alexander's meeting with Anthony is in there. I can link it if you'd like. Also, Paullina is currently writing a book about Alexander's parents. I hope one day she will write a story about Anthony. I think it would fill in a lot of missing pieces.

    Yes, thanks Carol!!!

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  22. NO WAY Hildy. That is awesome. MUST have bridge to holy cross!

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  23. Sirena,
    EXACTLY!!!! I totally crave more of T&A's life with the last 3 babies. Uggghhh, just thinking of Shura with 3 young babies, one after the other........after missing sooooooo many years with Ant, and suffering through sooooo many years of infertility. Maaaaaaaaaaaybe Paullina will think about adding another book or two?

    Hildy,
    that is a funny, heartwarming scene. I especially love it when Vicki says, "So THIS is Alexander? Now I understand everything!"

    Carol,
    Courage, soldier. Just grab a bag of sunflower seeds and take to your bed. Oh, don't forget the Kleenex. Oh, and the Spongebob for the kids. Oh, and don't forget to fake some kind of malady. You'll make it through.

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  24. OK, looks like I need to get The Bridge to Holy Cross! Is the Epilogue more than a few pages? Please tell me it's worth ordering. :)

    I'd love to read a story about Anthony.

    Did someone here mention Henry Cavill as a good candidate to play Alexander on screen? I think so. Anyway, I'm watching The Tudors right now and he is completely and totally Alexander!!! I can't take my eyes off him. He'd be so perfect.

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  25. Carol, Carol, Carol!!! I'm so happy for you. Crying and all.

    Finish it, darling. You have to learn what a happy ending is to a Russian...

    Love ya.

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  26. Re: TBTHC, For me, it was worth it to have the extra chapters, because I wanted anything I could get my hands on. However, it is repetitive and doesn't really give a whole lot of new insight. I guess it depends on how much you could get the book for. I was lucky enough to find it at my library. The epilogue itself is not worth it because it's not what really happens in the end. Much of it is the same but it definitely sugar coats things and makes Alexander look all happy and healed, and we know he is not. The part with Anthony is nice to read.

    Here's a link to the epilogue. I hope it's okay to link it here. It's from Paullina's site and was posted years ago by a fan. She hasn't taken it down.

    http://paullinasimons.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=556

    I also love this video of Paullina talking about TSG.

    http://paullinasimons.com/media/videos/paullina-discusses-summer-garden/

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  27. Hi, I've been stalking your blog for the last few weeks and have enjoyed it so much. I've read The Bronze Horseman three times in the last two months hence the bags under my eyes. I cannot stop reading this series, and I have BAWLED each time I have read the ending of The Summer Garden. So you're not alone. And I still find I cannot put the books down even on rereads!

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  28. Thank you for the links, Hildy! I will check them out tonight after the kiddos are in bed and I can quietly get lost in it. I searched for a copy of TBTHC and one seller wanted $600 for it. Ummm....no. I'll check my library too, but I highly doubt they'll have it.

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  29. Brandy,
    Thanks for the suggestions. I will look into the series.

    Jennifer,
    I have read the Into the Wilderness series, but thanks for the suggestion.

    Theresa

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  30. Brandy - I can't wait. I didn't know there were little stories in it! Excellent!

    Rochelle - I've had a headache for two days. Definitely a Sudafed day.

    Theresa - I am too spent to jump back into anything heavy. I may be headed to Book 10 of the Sookie Stackhouse series, where I left off two summers ago. That is about as un-heavy as you can possibly get.

    Ooooh Brandy, thanks. I'll add those to my methadone list.

    Clay - Tania vs. Claire: I am proud of you. Sometimes admitting it is the first step. :)

    Hildy - Wow thanks!

    Rochelle - Agreed. I waited and waited for it. There must be a reason.

    Sirena - you rock, girlfriend! And you are too kind as some of my blog posts have the maturity of a 4th grader at the roller rink. ;) PS - We have to get together for dinner again soon! We missed you at St. Andrews last week!

    Hildy - STOP IT - are you kidding me? Alexander's parents?? WOW. I can't STAND them. I can't even imagine what a whole book about them would be like! I'd LOVE a link, thanks.

    Jennifer J - ROFLMAO! Were you in my house this week? Spongebob has moved in!

    Bernadette - wow you are a soldier, Soldier! :) That is awesome. I wouldn't be able to read the series again for a little while...too gutwrenching. Although, if I know myself...I might have to do some peeking. You know where. ;)

    Christie - a million thanks. You made me read it and I'm so glad I did. I will never get these characters out of my brain. I am eating breakfast at my counter with my kids and I feel like Tania's at work and Shura's still sleeping. ;)

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  31. Here is the link to Paullina's new book that she's writing.

    http://paullinasimons.com/2011/06/and-now-about-the-next-book/

    I don't know how to make it clicky.

    I didn't love Harold and Jane in the books but I think this will be amazing. I can't wait to find out how they came to making such a horrible decision. Their son is pretty great, so I'm sure they're not so bad. :)

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  33. LOL I have to admit third time through I am skimming a bit more to get right to those parts!

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  34. I very recently finished TSG and I am STILL depressed over letting go of Shura and Tatiana. I want to reread but honestly don't know if I can take the intense emotions of these books right now! So amazing. Such deep, well developed, and REAL characters. I have never been so obsessed with a book (other than Harry Potter) and I read a lot!

    Luckily I haven't read the Outlander series, so I'm thinking those are next. Do you all still have discussions?! I know NOBODY reading TBH and I'm dying without book talk! I realize I'm a little late, but if you ever get back into it or still do it, email me! nicole.lynnp@yahoo.com

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    1. Nicole - did you ever start the Outlander series??

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  35. I just finished the book yesterday. I have been living with Tania and Shura for the past three weeks. I found The Bronze Horseman at a used bookstore and picked it up on a whim, not even knowing there was two more books. I was bawling when I finished it. I couldn't believe that was the end! I found out from Paullina's website that there was more so I quickly downloaded Tatiana and Alexander on my kindle. From there I went to the Summer Garden. Now, I have a void in my life. I was so happy to see I wasn't the only one crying at the end because I didn't want it to end. I can't remember ever reading a book that touched me as much as these. I had dreams about the characters! I had to stop right before the rescue of Anthony because I was so stressed that either he or Shura wouldn't make it. I'm so happy to see I am not alone in my love for these books. Thank you for your blog.

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    1. Awww..you poor thing Chemical yogi! We have all been there. I was so happy Paullina ended TSG the way she did. I was on the edge of my seat, all the way to the end.

      A few of us are going to read Children of Liberty (prequel about Shura's parents) if you want to read it with us. I'll post when we decide on a start date. :)

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  36. I've been undecieded about reading Children of Liberty. I have mixed feelings about Shura's parents. However, it would be fun to read it along with you and your bloggers. I'll keep checking back to see when you are starting!

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    1. Me too, CY but put on your seatbelt because we're READING IT. :) I'll let you know - we're starting soon!

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