• Page Count: 742
  • Release Date: July 2007
  • My Rating: 1 star

Book Description:

Through years of war and devastation, Tatiana and Alexander suffered the worst the twentieth century had to offer. Miraculously reunited in America, they now have a beautiful son, Anthony, the gift of a love strong enough to survive the most terrible upheavals. Though they are still young, the ordeals they endured have changed them–and after living apart in a world laid waste, they must now find a way to live together in postwar America.

With the Cold War rising, dark forces at work in their adopted country threaten their lives, their family, and their hard-won peace. To regain the happiness they once knew, to wash away the lingering pain of the past, two lovers grown distant must somehow forge a new life . . .or watch the ghosts of their yesterdays destroy their firstborn son.

My Thoughts:


Nope nope nope. That turned into an infuriating mess.

The story starts with Alexander and Tatiana raising their son in America. Alexander won’t really talk to his wife or look at her… they’re just living together and everyone’s resentful and miserable. He says everything in their current life reminds him of the life she built while she thought he was dead. Nothing is ever enough and it’s incredibly depressing to read.

Alexander feels like a failure, so Tatiana spends most of the story desperately trying to get him back. He says he survived so that she could “save” him, but he’s certainly not making it easy. Both of them believe the other is gone and neither can escape the past. Alexander says Lazarevo was fake and that they still live like “homeless and abandoned” people with one pot because they can’t move on. So… they go on a road trip. Alexander has to debrief stuff with the government. More drama ensues. There are whole chunks of the book that focus on Tatiana’s dead siblings. But the main drama is them trying to salvage their marriage and create a future.

NOW FOR THE PART THAT IS NOT OK. Alexander turns completely abusive. Like he had a temper and was scary and punching things and hurting her in previous books, but this is just absurd and not even excusable at this point. He uses his physical strength to get his way, hides her from his friends, blames his actions on alcohol, and then tells Tatiana half truths and guilts her when she says her friends saw him disappear into a room with a naked woman.

A few chapters later Alexander cheats on her with some other woman. That woman calls looking for him, so Tatiana confronts him and Alexander goes to rage at the woman like a total ass. That woman’s husband finds out she’s pregnant and the woman claims it’s Alexander’s. Tatiana breaks some plates and cuts her hair off and is justifiably upset. But Alexander finds a way to still yell at Tatiana over this and blame her?! His response is “well, at least SOMEONE around here is pregnant” and then he hits her so hard across the face she falls over and he keeps coming after her until their poor son intervenes. Alexander has completely turned into his father at this point: he shoves his son away while he beats the mother.

Alexander is all bitter, saying he thought and hoped that Tatiana would never find out. She tells him she’s pregnant and had made a nice dinner to tell him this while he was off with the other woman. He HAS THE NERVE to say that Tatiana had no right to incite him when she’s pregnant and doesn’t she have the “slightest sense to protect herself” from him.

I cannot take this any longer. Their relationship is so completely unhealthy in every way that it makes me actually nauseated to read.

Anyways, somehow their marriage improves because they’re having a kid now. (Who cares about that poor other ignored child they already have). Some truly weird stuff with Vietnam ensues. I do not care. I am completely over this “romance.” If the Dasha stuff in the first book made you mad, maybe skip this final book.


6 comments on “The Summer Garden by Paullina Simmons”

  1. Jesus effing Christ. I was tempted to start this series but definitely not now! It sounds traumatic and depressing as hell. 🙁 Thanks for the warning.

    • Hahaha oh my goodness was completely was. This honestly might be one of the most depressing and infuriating series I’ve ever read…

  2. I am so glad someone else feels the same way!! I had to stop reading the book because the way he treats her made me so angry! And she just takes it and is constantly apologising for things she shouldn’t have to, like having a job, and then using sex to get him to forgive her, it’s so Fucked up and i didn’t even make it to the cheating part! Not wasting any more of my time on this book.

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