The Bronze Horseman: A Misogynistic Mess

TW// rape, sexual abusive, violence, controlling partners, domestic abuse, suicide mention

See my original Twitter thread for live reactions/extended thoughts:

The first 500 pages of this book set up to be a 3-4 star book. The setting is excruciatingly real and well-done, provided that I’m not an expert on Russian WWII history and can’t vouch for the historical accuracy. However, the atmosphere of the book and the starvation and sickness that the characters endured was so tangible that it was almost unbearable to read at certain points. It’s so gruesome, and I think it works great as a book about war rather than a book about romance.

Which brings me to how this book is such a trashfire.

Alexander is the worst. The. Worst. An obscenely controlling rapist framed as a love interest.

It snuck up on me at first. Throughout the first 500 pages of this book, I would sometimes think to myself, “Eh, he’s kinda horrible for doing that, but it was the 1940s, so what can I say.” There were little things that I let slide. The first time they meet, he follows her onto a bus, and when she refuses to get off at her stop, he continues to stay on the bus, watching her. When he comes over to dine with her family, he always insists that she be the one to serve him tea. He would always tell her what to do, and threaten her if she were to disobey his orders. He dated her sister yet got mad when she gave attention to any other boys other than him. All this, and he is 22 while she’s merely 17. It was disturbing, but not entirely unheard of for young women at that time. I figured that once he and Tatiana’s sister broke up, an actually healthy relationship would form.

I was the opposite of correct.

Alexander turned into a tyrant. He controlled every aspect of their relationship. He decided where she went, who she visited, how long they would be there. He controlled who she talked to, and banned her from being with others because he was supposed to be the most important person in her life. The first time they have sex—mind you, Tatiana’s first time <i>ever</i>—the entire scene is loaded with dialogue in which Tatiana tells him to stop and wait because she’s anxious and hesitant, whereas he is insistent and insensitive. Her every “Wait!” is met with “I can’t!” and her every “No, stop” is met with, “No, tell me you love me.” This scene alone contributes so much to the toxic atmosphere of rape culture, and what’s even more disgusting is that Tatiana is deprived of having any sort of substantial inner monologue that would indicate that these unwanted advances are wrong.






What’s worse than this entire first scene being ridden with dubious consent and coerciveness is that Alexander has this ridiculous fetish with Tatiana’s youth and purity. For <b>SEVERAL PAGES</b> he pesters her about “has anyone seen you naked?” and “has anyone touched you?” and “did you save yourself for me?” and “have you been with a man before at all?” It’s incredibly creepy and objectifying, especially when considering the age gap between them. Also, the too-tight, girly dress that Tatiana wears when they meet becomes a symbol of Alexander’s obsession with her youth. He literally carries the dress around with him throughout the book to remind him of her innocent days when they first met. There’s such a power imbalance and Alexander strengthened his leverage over her by always insisting that he was more mature than her, and she was so young and had so much to learn.





But what occurs after their wedding night is truly chilling. Alexander completely clutches the reins of Tatiana’s life. They have sex several times per day at Alexander’s discretion, and always under his terms. Tatiana continues to cook for him and do his laundry, and if she slips up in doing any of this (say, not being able to catch a fish for dinner), then Alexander reprimands her heartily (“I told you that you should have gotten up at 5 to fish!”). He tells her repeatedly that he loves her and she’s everything to him, but he constricts her individuality and autonomy in every possible fashion. At this point, it extends beyond the stereotype of a man conforming to patriarchal behavior; he has crushed her entire personhood so that she will be what she wants him to be— which at the end of the day boils down to someone he can stick his dick into and be served hot meals by.

By far, one of the worst scenes in this book is when Alexander and her are discussing the fact that Alexander will have to go back to the war from his furlough (the period of time in which he travels over 1000 kilometers to see/visit/marry/sexually assault her in the safer town she’s found haven in). He ends up finding a backpack she had assembled that had some winter clothing items and other basic commodities inside, and confronts her about them in a very aggressive (read: normal) manner. When she declares that she wants to go back to Leningrad (their war-ridden hometown) with him, he becomes so angry that he rips the fish that she’s cleaning from her hands, GRIPS her arms, yells at her, then retreats to the woods to go be alone. He was one step away from physically swinging her over his knee and spanking her like some goddamn awful vintage advertisement. However, that’s not the worst of this conversation. Eventually Alexander returns and continues to rage, after which he declares (and this is a direct quote):

“I married you so I could fuck you anytime I felt like it! . . . Anytime, Tania! What else do you think a soldier on furlough could possibly want? And if I hadn’t married you, all of Lazarevo (the town they’re in) would now be calling you my whore!”


At this point, I was completely finished with this book. It revolted me. Tatiana was understandably insulted and retreated, but then it gets worse. Tatiana is lying in bed after that whole ordeal, still somewhat sniffling and getting over crying while literally in the fetal position, when Alexander crawls into bed beside her. Harmless. When she doesn’t turn to face him or acknowledge him, however, he then proceeds to unravel the sheets from around her and stick his dick inside of her. I can’t make this up. Non-consensual penetration. And Tatiana just remains silent, so he takes it as a green light. I was so revolted that I was seeing red.


In what fucked up world is this the way to resolve a conflict, even in a historical fiction book where controlling husband are normal? This book was written in 2000. So apparently it’s an acceptable apology to just sidle up in bed behind your wife and slide into her. No hard feelings! If she doesn’t say no, it means yes! After coming he does finally apologize, but he’s practically just raped her and expects to be absolved of all hard feelings. Understandably, Tatiana is quiet and unresponsive, and Alexander demands she forgive him. Literally. He says “Turn to me and tell me you forgive me.” and she does. And when that isn’t enough, he says, “Kiss me. I want to feel your lips forgive me.” And she does. but then he says, “You have not forgiven me. Again.” and she kisses him again. As if salt wasn’t already thrown in the wound, a few pages later, it states, “Hours went by. In the deepest night, Alexander made love to her again. ‘Go on, Tatiana,’ he whispered, ‘spread your legs for me like I love.’” And as he’s on top of her (side note: she is crying throughout the duration of this scene), he is asking her, “Will you stay here? Are you my good girl? Are you my lovely girl?” and saying “Swear you’ll stay here and wait for me. Promise me you’ll be a good wife and wait for your husband.” I’m so disgusted that he is rewarded with sex even when he assaults her and gains forgiveness from it. Please rest assured that at that point, I began rooting for him to die in the war.

It’s sickening the way this author (WHO. IS. A. WOMAN.) writes a woman to be submissive to her husband even after she has been mistreated and assaulted. It’s insulting to me, as a reader, the way that Tatiana gives in to Alexander consistently and with fervor, even after she has been used and betrayed and hurt. After this point, NOTHING was redeemable about this book. I was so blinded by my disgust for Alexander and the way that Tatiana is never given the opportunity to walk away from him or have her own way, regardless of what Alexander wants for her. I was reading a story about a woman trapped in an unhealthy relationship, and a man who manipulated her into thinking that it was the life she wanted.

I just don’t understand how this main character, who is so constantly mistreated, can have the instant turnaround of “I love you, I miss you, never leave me, I’m nothing without you, you own me” (yeah, one of the actual lines in this book is Tatiana thinking the actual sentence, “He owns me”). Alexander is rewarded with her love and affection even after he commits very violent and disturbing acts to her, in both his action and dialogue. And the fact that this book has such a high rating confirms that it has been overlooked by many of the readers, and subsequently, these actions are internalized and normalized in the readers’ minds. The readers, of which most must be female, might I add, since this is categorized as romance. The words “A love story” are printed right beneath the title on the book’s cover. So women, young and mature alike, are gathering the message from this book that it’s okay for men to treat women this way, even if it was 80 years ago. Even if these practices were common at that time, it’s the 20th century. It might’ve been less common for a woman to be empowered in their relationships in 1942, but it’s abhorrent that we have to read sexist bullshit just because it conforms to what a relationship would have looked like at that time. What a great way to solidify me never reading a historical fiction novel ever again!! Many, many, many authors have written about women in 1940s and earlier who are autonomous and confident and sex positive and many authors have written about men in those same times that respect women. A resistance to write historical romance like this indicates an author who has a complete disregard to the safety and well-being of women who read this and interpret the book’s themes as normal, or worse, desirable.

It’s so hard for me to even continue this review because at that point, I had 200 pages left. We hadn’t even nearly reached the end. But after this point, I told myself I wasn’t here for the romance; I was here to wish and hope and cross my fingers that she would have at least ONE awakening in which she realizes that Alexander treats her like absolute shit. Just ONE instance in the text that the author— or Tatiana— indicates that she is being treated unfairly and disgustingly. That she is an object, a plaything, a puppet for Alexander.

Once Alexander leaves for Leningrad to return to the army (Tatiana has obeyed him and decided to stay in her town), she goes into this New Moon-esque state in which she moves through her days with robotic lethargy, only living to thrust herself into work and distractions. She is made to seem like she’s worthless, hollow, bored, nothing without her husband. She was such a lively girl at the beginning of this book without Alexander! Where is the carefree Tatiana who decided to skip buying war provisions so that she could buy ice cream instead? The passionate Tatiana who played games on the roof with her friends? She’s like an unspeaking corpse after he leaves, even though she has so many friends. Why is a book written in the 21st century perpetuating the idea that a woman is not whole without a man??

Later, when she returns to Leningrad against Alexander’s wishes because she thinks he might be in trouble, she thinks to herself, “Alexander will be so angry when he finds out I’m here,” immediately followed by, “she didn’t care if he killed her.” WHAT THE FUCK???? She didn’t care if he KILLED her? She’s literally ready to DIE under the furious hand of her husband finding out that she disobeyed him? That is so beyond fucked up that I have no further comment.


I hardly have the words to type this next section. When Alexander (who is stationed several kilometers outside of Leningrad) finds out that Tatiana came back, he breaks a chair with his bare hands (hands that were injured by a second degree burn a month ago, mind you), then begs for a few days off to go to Leningrad. The scene where it describes him leaving to go find her literally reads like the prologue to a homicide. I was filled with absolute dread and loathing, as well as pity for Tatiana.

As I should have been. She finds him outside her apartment waiting for her, and he’s furious, of course. Tatiana is able to coax him into a better mood by, you guessed it, sex. However, the next morning, the yelling that ensues literally shook me to the core. I was terrified for this woman because this man was filled with such unspent rage that I really thought he was going to crush her skull. Alexander starts packing her things so that she can leave again, so that he can send her somewhere safer, which she protests, and the conversation gets heated. Then, Alexander tells her this:


He threatens to hit her. In a romance book between two adults who for the last 150 pages have spent a month fucking each other and exclaiming their love for one another, the male partner just THREATENED. TO. HIT. HIS. WIFE. for telling him that she didn’t want to leave him. Furthermore, he says, “I will take you there (to a safer town) if I have to carry you myself, kicking and screaming.” I mean, we haven’t had the greatest track record with consent here, but this is really just an escalation of the real violence that occurs in this scene.

And I’m warning you, this scene is dark. This scene is intense. This scene made me cry, this scene caused my blood to run cold, this scene made me feel such pity for a character that up to this point I remained pretty indifferent about. After Tatiana says that she would come back if he dragged her away, he throws a backpack full of supplies at her head. Then punches the wall beside her head. He begins yelling. At this point, it describes Tatiana as trembling, and rightfully so. This has crossed the line of being “borderline” abusive. This is threatening. This is terrorizing. This is coercion and a fear tactic for her to do what he wants.


Then he yells at her some more:

“For fuck’s sake . . . What will it take for you to listen to me, just once, just fucking once, what will it take for you to do as I say?”

This line alone is disgusting, implying that in order for her to be a good wife— and someone exempt from being beaten (or nearly so)—she must submit to his every will and follow his orders. This is something he did even before they were together!! From the VERY beginning of their relationship, he was threatening and coercing her into doing things his way, otherwise she would risk consequences like being shamed by her family, or him threatening not to return to her. But then, he grabs her by the arms and pins her to the wall. A physical act of aggression, intended to terrorize her into submitting. Several lines later, it describes Tatiana as being “afraid to look at him.” Is this romance?? Having your husband yell at you to listen to him while he pins you to a wall??? So aggressively that the wife is afraid to LOOK at him in fear of angering him further?? This is absolute, abusive garbage.


But it doesn’t end there. Tatiana’s roommate hears the yelling and knocks on the door to see if she’s okay. Alexander also screams at the roommate to shut up and go away, and this interaction only seems to propel his violence further. After he slams the door on the roommate, Tatiana backs away from him with her hands up—the saddest image of all, really. She is retreating from him in fear while he is in a manic, furious state, and seeing his own wife, supposedly a woman he loves, back away from him in this fearful way doesn’t even phase him. It then describes him as “unstoppable” and “crazed” as he SHOVES her on the couch. She tries to cover her face, but he rips her hands away and shouts at her not to do that, shaking her as he grabs her by the cheeks.


At this point, I don’t need to interject comments for you to get the mental image that this is extremely wrong behavior. A kindergartener would be able to pick up on how inexcusable this is for a husband to do to a wife, not even mentioning that it is extremely undeserved. They were having a conversation!! All of this is because Tatiana said she wants to be in the same city as him! A city in which she is provided enough food (triple what her rations were when she escaped the city a year ago), she has enough money to survive in, where she has a job, and is decreasing in air raids and Nazi terrorism.

Tatiana yells at him to stop hurting her while shoving his hands away, but he only grabs her harder. She continues to say stop, and then “You’re hurting me.” You’d think by now a husband who respects his wife would pull away and apologize for his behavior, vowing to never lay an ill-intentioned hand on her again. But no. It says that she just gently lays her hands on top of his, and although his grip softens, it seems to be because she has stopped fighting him and is instead pleading with him. It’s around this time that the book LITERALLY states, “she could hardly breathe” as she tries to reason with him. He’s on top of her on the couch, crushing her, crushing her face between his hands, suffocating her.


Finally, he breaks. But only because she broke first. And instead of apologizing for his outburst, all he does is beg her not to stay. And what does she do? She apologizes to HIM. SHE is the one who says “I’m sorry I made you angry.” Not the other way around. Not “I’m sorry I scared you” or “I’m sorry I yelled” or “I’m sorry I punched the wall” or “I’m sorry I threw a backpack at your face” or “I’m sorry I terrorized your neighbor and slammed the door on them” or “I’m sorry I pinned you against the wall” or “I’m sorry I shoved you” or “I’m sorry I was suffocating you” or “I’m sorry I overreacted.” He said none of these things. There was no indication in the text that this outburst, that this scene is unhealthy or in any way a wrong thing for a husband to do to a wife. And more than anything I’d read before in this book, it concerned me. My heart broke during this scene for Tatiana, and even moreso in the pages after this scene when after the situation has deescalated and Tatiana has once again submitted to Alexander’s will, they have sex. Many times.


And it’s again in this “love making” scene that we read Tatiana employ the phrase that she wants Alexander to kill her. It is by far one of the most twisted, disgusting love stories I’ve ever witnessed.


(TW: SUICIDE) Later on they are arguing about whether or not to escape to America, and she threatens to kill herself if he doesn’t leave, and he threatens to leave and never come back if she doesn’t stop talking. Every single piece of dialogue of theirs, at this point, is just outrageous and toxic. They’re now threatening to leave each other—or KILL THEMSELVES—in order to manipulate the other to do what they want?? Even in rough times such as living in the Soviet Union, this is so, so extreme and concerning.



I sped through the last 100 pages of this book just to be done with it. And I didn’t miss a lot. He tries to guilt her into getting an abortion, and when that doesn’t work, he fakes his own death in order for his wife and unborn child to be able to escape the Soviet Union. A great sacrifice, I guess, but pretty shitty and mentally scarring. 

The bottom line is that this book normalizes and promotes these unhealthy interactions between a husband and a wife. Never once did Simons denounce any of Alexander’s actions as abusive, violent, or wrong; instead, Tatiana is constantly apologizing for upsetting his husband. It’s sold as a love story, but the main character is only given this love when she’s behaving like a perfect doll for her husband, following his commands, serving him food, and bending over for him any time he feels the urge to pound her. 

Alexander faced no consequences for his actions in this book. This violence and this abuse is sold as angst and romance. And I loathed every goddamn second of it.


31 thoughts on “The Bronze Horseman: A Misogynistic Mess

  1. This is disgusting. I can’t fathom how this was published in this state and then marketed as a love story. Thank you for writing this review and calling this book out. I’m so glad I never got around to reading this.


  2. i’m so disgusted and angry and god knows what else at everyone who has raved about this book for YEARS and not once mentioned even a second of any of this! i’m so glad i follow you because up until now i had pretty much been convinced to give this book a go to see why everyone loves it so much.


    1. Same here. So many people said this book was amazing and so romantic. It just makes me wonder, were you reading the same book? Because from what I can tell that is not romance at all.


  3. I am so incredibly disgusted. I was planning on reading the book, since many booktubers recommended it (as a romance book, mind you) and I love the russian setting. Thanks for this review, now I won’t have to endure this s*** book.
    I’m so sad that this is the norm and people still find it romantic to be in a abusive relationship ):

    Anyway, great post!


  4. Thank you for sharing your views, I was so surprised when I read your twitter thread this weekend because I truly had no idea that all of this was hapoening in the book, after seeing it being raved about several times by several different people I added it to my TBR, this was more than a year ago and I nevee found the time to read it and now I don’t think I will, I mean seriously this book isn’t like other when you know some people don’t like it but you still want to make up your own mind about it. I think your thoroughly written review is more than enough for me to wish I had never bought it.

    This isn’t like 50 Shades of Grey kind of wrong, this is wrong wrong WRONG! How is this romance, I just don’t understand and how can a woman write something like that and call it romance? It is baffling to me.

    Again thank you for always speaking up because of you I have made some changes in the way I read and more than a few time I have found dialogue in romance books that make me cringe and I always think about you and how greatful I am that I know can read like that.


  5. This is absolutely gross and disgusting and horrifying. I definitely appreciate your review because now I won’t read it, and hopefully other people will become more aware as well and not read it either.
    BUT JEEZ. THE WHOLE THING IS PSYCHO. I’m sorry you had to make it through that! 😬


  6. THIS IS THE MOST DISGUSTING THING. I can’t believe I was actually going to read this book! Thank you so much for speaking up about the issues with this book because I haven’t seen anybody else say anything about it before.


  7. The most disgusting thing about all of this to me is that I haven’t heard ANYTHING like this about this book from reviews. It’s not reflective in ratings at all. I’m honestly sickened. This book is going in my donate pile immediately.


  8. Yep yep yep yep yep. I read this book because SO many booktubers recommended it. It digusted me. It shook me to my core. And then I started looking for reviews about the abusive nature of this terrible book and I swear to you I didn’t find a single one. I read reviews for the sequels because obviously I wasn’t about to read them and apparently Alexander just gets worse. He ends up cheating on his wife because she had a job. So of course she quits the job, which by the way she loved, to please him. And after that he ends up slapping her in the face. Don’t worry though, she apologizes for making him angry enough to PHYSICALLY ASSAULT HIS WIFE. Yeah, real romantic.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. How could you do this? You realize your taking a huge book out of context. And causing people to hate on something they haven’t read. But I guess if there isn’t fantasy and teens almost having sex it’s not interesting. This review is disgusting and your disgusting. You are causing so much drama and hate. Also, how is it that you’ve made yourself the commander of everything sexually correct if you’ve never had sex? How is it that you can condemn this but love a book where a man forced another man to rape a child? You should stop pretending to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read the book a few years ago and loved it (I love books that give different perspectives of WW2) but what Whitney points out in the review is totally valid.

      She acknowledges at the very start that her issue was with the romance and that the war aspect of it was well done. Even though I loved the book, I still noticed and had issues with some of the stuff she pointed out (and sadly, some of it just didn’t register because they’re common romance tropes that I was desensitized to).

      Putting the scenes she’s highlighted into context can change how you read them a bit but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re still blatantly abusive behaviours that are never acknowledged as such in the book.

      While it may make sense, in context, why they’re not acknowledged in the story there are still many people (some who have experienced abuse or sexual assault themselves) who don’t want to read a book that revolves around a relationship like that or one that romanticizes it (which this book does, given it is specifically marketed as a love story). Some will read it anyway for the war element, but will be grateful that they’re not blindsided by an abusive romance.

      Reviews like this let people know what they’re getting into before they dive into a 800 page book. They help people decide for themselves whether or not to read it…which is the whole point of reviews.

      If you love the book, that’s fair enough, but Whitney is completely entitled to have her own opinions of it and reviews like hers matter. Being rude and dismissive of her opinion just because it differs from yours is uncalled for (especially your comments about her personally — you are attacking a real person because she criticized fictional characters, that is not okay).


    2. Agreed!

      There are some annoying, non-feminist things (like him being obsessed with her being a virgin but this is not uncommon even today – especially in some states of the good old US of A from news reaching us over in Australia from that country – hello you’re still trying to ban abortion in many places and there’s such a thing as absitnence only sex-ed – what Middle Eastern Sharia Law universe is that?) but most of this review is from a point of view sooooo blind, non-worldly and one dimensional that I feel like surely it’s satire?

      First of all, many of the extreme reactions have to be considered in the context of trauma, non-US fakeness of conversation and personality, as the review does mention time but honestly Aleksander is actually way more modern that I’d expect a guy in the 40s to be [unlike the review I actually have substantial knowledge of history].

      Second of all, wow is your reading comprehension lacking and one dimensional (potentially a result of not enough reading combined with clear lack of life experience).

      Eg. the scene where he says he married her just to fuck her whenever he wants. It so very clearly is described that this was his attempt at convincing himself to be angry at her so he can leave her more easily. Even if you miss that obvious implication, she clearly accuses him of it. Her tears aren’t tears because they’re having sex – it is so so so so so clearly consensual and she’s crying because she’s sad.

      Have you ever had sex? A passionate relationship? Troubles? Anything? I think not.

      None of the sex is ever non-consensual in any of the 3 books in the trilogy. There is some shitty behaviour from Alexander as a grouch (common in men in general in that time and especially veterans of war) but even then he frequently recognises and tries to atone for that behaviour (which in reality would have been unlikely at the time).

      Even the fact that you bring up him accusing her of not cooking by using the “I told you we should have gotten up at 5am” as the example shows your complete deludedness and inability to interpret tone. He’s not actually blaming her for that, he is sad and angry (and in this particular example maybe a bit of hangry too to add to it) and traumatised and just grizzling. You’ve never been in a bad mood? I mean you sound like the kind of person that would be passive aggressive about expressing it but seriously?

      Given the amount of time and effort you obviously put into this review, I’m honestly shocked and horrified at how bad your reading comprehension is. Most off the mark review I’ve read in my entire life!

      At least other negative reviews of this book I understood it to be a matter of taste [eg. many people hating the level of detail about the war, rations etc etc] but this is just…wow.

      I’ve never been moved to comment on a random blog before now.


  10. I have not read this book, but in general I don’t have an issue with books with content like what you have described, because relationships like this DO happen. I don’t think books always having to show idealised versions of reality does anyone any favours. I don’t think imposing contemporary ideals on historicial fiction is particularly helpful either (although often highly enjoyable). We shouldn’t forget the reality of what the past was like. It reminds us of why things had to change, and I think that’s important. The story of a messed up relationship is a valid one, because they do happen. The story of an abused victim is valid, even if they are never able to fight it or get themselves out of the situation. I don’t think victim’s stories are only valid if they serve as ‘an inspiration’ to others for fighting back and getting out of it because victims are only worth caring about if they are able to help themselves (I’m not saying that you’re saying that, but I’ve encountered a lot of people with that mentality). I also don’t think an author needs to specifically call out right and wrong in adult fiction (I believe it should be specifically called out in YA or children’s fiction because young people are still learning, but I think adults should be able to think for themselves and know right and wrong without being hand fed. They’re adults, and it can otherwise come across as rather patronising).

    So having stories like this is fine… until it’s marketed as something it’s not. That’s when I have a problem. I have no problems with someone writing a book about a very complex messed up abusive relationship, because messed up abusive relationships happen. They exist. It’s fair game. It’s important for people to understand the complexity of such horrendous relationships, and fiction is one way for people to get insight and understanding. But for fucks sake don’t call it a romance just to get more people to read the book!!! It’s deceptive and dishonest and it not only takes away the valid purpose of writing such horrific content. It transforms something from an exploration of human behaviour to a justification of that behaviour, and that is not okay. It’s not like they have marketed the book blankly and let the reader decide for themselves as a thinking adult, this book is specifically marketed as romance. It then places the book in the context of preconceived ideas that can influence the absorption of the material. Books should be marketed responsibly and truthfully.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Such an interesting analysis!

    I read this book back in January, and absolutely loved it, but your review brings to light a lot of issues I did not pick up on. I was wondering how you feel about the character of Alexander? Do your feel he was. Good character, not a good person, just a good character. I think he had a lot of depth that you didn’t,t mention that may explain aspect of his behaviour. Obviously that does in no way make it excusable, but I think it’s something to consider.

    Also, what you read as Tatiana becoming submissive to her husband, I read as her own character growth. Initially I was not her biggest fan, I mean there is a war on and your going to buy ice cream! But going through the siege, the death of her whole family, she’s a lot more serious, and sensible (though you could argue that following Alexander back to Lenningrad is not the best idea), especially through her training to be. A nurse, and I liked that. It felt like she had grown up a bit as a character. I honestly thought she was about twelve when I started this book, because she felt so young, but I guess that was the point, you can’t afford t be fun and carefree when there’s a war on.

    Anyway, I’m not knocking your opinions or anything, just offering my perspective, thanks for the interesting read!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m gonna have to be honest here and say i completely disagree. The Bronze houseman is by far the best book I’ve ever read! for 800 pages we really get to know these flawed characters. the series only gets better as it goes!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I do see some of your points but as a whole I think you misinterpreted a lot of the book. Alexander is just VERY protective of Tatiana because he loves her so much. He saved her life and he is terrified that he will lose her in the war. (She was literally dying and he sustained her and saved her -more than once.) And that is why he was SO mad about her returning to Leningrad (and because she promised him that she would not return, then broke her promise.) Their love is completely intense, and yes they are flawed characters. I think they definitely have some issues to work on, but ultimately they love each other and would do anything for each other.



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