"During the days I was reading this book I ate comparitively little. It quelled the appetite. Starvation on such a scale makes one feel almost guilty for having enough and to spare."
~Peter Lewis from The Daily Mail on Anna Reid's Leningrad; Tragedy of a City Under Siege 1941-1944
I have never been a big fan of rereading a book series, no matter how life-altering. One could say I am slave to the element of surprise. However, seven years have passed since I read The Bronze Horseman, so a few of the details have gone by my brain's proverbial wayside, making it fair game in the "new to me" department. And let's face it; I am not getting any younger. My memory is pretty sketchy when we're talking about last week's meatloaf or teriyaki chicken, let alone a series I read in 2011.
So I am happily (and miserably) wading through a literary bliss that only Paullina Simons can create; I am rereading The Bronze Horseman series. And for some reason, unbeknownst to me, I find myself even more affected by it now than I was during my first read when I started this blog. (I'm talking CAN'T PUT IT DOWN! Me! The non-rereading spoiler freak!)
And today, while googling WWII Leningrad yet again, I stumbled upon Peter Lewis' sobering article and was struck by its very first paragraph. I can relate so well as of late. I gained a bit of weight this past fall (personal reasons, yada yada, I'm a comfort eater) and need to take it off. And it's not easy for me, as I have a monstrous sweet tooth. But last week, as I was reading about Tatiana giving her bread-and-cardboard rations to her neighbors and started sarcastically thinking "Oh poor me! I have to measure my craisins on my salad full of chicken and vegetables!" I suddenly realized it's just not all that tough to eat a little less. These people went through unspeakable horrors while dealing with starvation. Surely I can handle measuring portions and skipping dessert.
And PS - in between googling WWII Leningrad, Lake Ladoga, the rivers Volga and Kama, Lazarevo, etc etc...I find myself scouring the internet, looking for actors to play Shura. And frankly, I just don't know that it can be done. He is so vivid in my mind, and no one works, for one reason or another. Wrong eyes, wrong hair, too short, too thin, etc, etc. I applaud Paullina for sticking to her guns and not letting someone come along and alter the series. That happens time and again in TV and film, whether in miscasting, script changes, location sacrifices, etc. It would kill me to see that happen to our Tatia and Alexander. ❤️