10 November 2016

Six Days in Leningrad by Paullina Simons

About the Book
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The never-before-told story of the journey behind The Bronze Horseman now in print for the first time.

From the author of the celebrated, internationally bestselling The Bronze Horseman saga comes a glimpse into the private life of its much loved creator, and the real story behind the epic novels. Paullina Simons gives us a work of non-fiction as captivating and heart-wrenching as the lives of Tatiana and Alexander.

Only a few chapters into writing her first story set in Russia, her mother country, Paullina Simons travelled to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) with her beloved Papa. What began as a research trip turned into six days that forever changed her life, the course of her family, and the novel that became The Bronze Horseman. After a quarter-century away from her native land, Paullina and her father found a world trapped in yesteryear, with crumbling stucco buildings, entire families living in seven-square-metre communal apartments, and barren fields bombed so badly that nothing would grow there even fifty years later. And yet there were the spectacular white nights, the warm hospitality of family friends and, of course, the pelmeni and caviar.

At times poignant, at times inspiring and funny, this is both a fascinating glimpse into the inspiration behind the epic saga, and a touching story of a family's history, a father and a daughter, and the fate of a nation.

Memoir Six Days in Leningrad shares the experiences Paullina Simons has on a research trip she takes for The Bronze Horseman. While I've not yet had the pleasure of reading this novel, many aspects of Simons’ memoir fascinated me, and I enjoyed discovering Russian historical details amidst familial relationships and personal conflict.

Yet, within this book’s many pages, Simons chooses to include details and anecdotes that, to me, didn’t seem entirely necessary. At several points, I had to struggle to maintain my interest and keep reading, unfortunately taking away from my overall enjoyment of Six Days in Leningrad.

Despite not wholeheartedly loving Six Days in Leningrad, I will note that plenty of other readers have loved itso be sure to read other opinions of the book here. For lovers of The Bronze Horseman, this might just be a perfect behind-the-scenes memoir.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours, I received a copy of Six Days in Leningrad and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

About the Author
Paullina Simons is an internationally bestselling author whose novels include Bellagrand and The Bronze Horseman was born in Leningrad in 1963. As a child she immigrated to Queens, New York, and attended colleges in Long Island. Then she moved to England and attended Essex University, before returning to America. She lives in New York with her husband and children.

Find out more about Paullina at her website, follow her on Twitter, and connect with her on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts as part of the tour.