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At the turn of the century and the dawning of the modern world, Gina from Belpasso comes to Boston’s Freedom Docks to find a new and better life, and meets Harry Barrington, who is searching for his. The fates of the Barringtons and Attavianos become entwined, on a collision course between the old and new, between what is expected and what is desired, what is chosen and wh At the turn of the century and the dawning of the modern world, Gina from Belpasso comes to Boston’s Freedom Docks to find a new and better life, and meets Harry Barrington, who is searching for his. The fates of the Barringtons and Attavianos become entwined, on a collision course between the old and new, between what is expected and what is desired, what is chosen and what is bestowed, what is given and what is taken away. As America races headlong into the future, much will be lost and much will be gained for Gina and Harry, whose ill-fated love story will break your heart.


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At the turn of the century and the dawning of the modern world, Gina from Belpasso comes to Boston’s Freedom Docks to find a new and better life, and meets Harry Barrington, who is searching for his. The fates of the Barringtons and Attavianos become entwined, on a collision course between the old and new, between what is expected and what is desired, what is chosen and wh At the turn of the century and the dawning of the modern world, Gina from Belpasso comes to Boston’s Freedom Docks to find a new and better life, and meets Harry Barrington, who is searching for his. The fates of the Barringtons and Attavianos become entwined, on a collision course between the old and new, between what is expected and what is desired, what is chosen and what is bestowed, what is given and what is taken away. As America races headlong into the future, much will be lost and much will be gained for Gina and Harry, whose ill-fated love story will break your heart.

30 review for Children of Liberty

  1. 5 out of 5

    Misfit

    This book is a prequel to the wildly popular Bronze Horseman trilogy, a series I enjoyed a lot despite the need for a red-pencil guy (book #3 went on and on and on). Readers familiar with the back history of Alexander's parents have an expectation of what they're likely to find in this book, so I won't spoil for those new to the story. Unfortunately, this book ends where it should have been started, and I hear that there's at least one more book in the works to tell the story that fans of these This book is a prequel to the wildly popular Bronze Horseman trilogy, a series I enjoyed a lot despite the need for a red-pencil guy (book #3 went on and on and on). Readers familiar with the back history of Alexander's parents have an expectation of what they're likely to find in this book, so I won't spoil for those new to the story. Unfortunately, this book ends where it should have been started, and I hear that there's at least one more book in the works to tell the story that fans of these books are waiting to read; a story that you aren't going to get in this book. Children of Liberty begins in 1899 with the immigrant Attaviano family arriving in Boston Harbor to start a new life in America, and almost fifteen-year-old Gina is full of hope and promise. Harry Barrington and his friend Ben offer their assistance to the family (Harry's father owns several apartment houses that cater to Italian immigrants). The Attaviano family begin their new life with family (cousin? aunt?) in a nearby town, while Harry returns to his privileged life in Boston. The bulk of the book then alternates between dinner party after dinner party at Harry's family home with endless conversations talking about politics and socialism, and the struggles of Gina and her family to make a go of things, and whether or not Gina should work or go to school. *Yawn* I'm the kind of reader that prefers a story to start when there's something interesting happening, and then backtrack and fill in the gaps. In this case, the book should have been started at page 375 and moved on from there (but then that's one less book to be sold). While I admire an author who uses dialog to set up the story instead of endless info dumps, the dialog here and the discussions contained therein were endless and mind-numbing. The same discussions over and over and over and over again, for almost 375 pages of this 422 page book. Add to this misery two of the most unlikable characters I've come across since those gawd-awful 50 Shades books. Harry is dull as dishwater and a spineless ninny to boot. Gina was a teenager for most of the book (we all know what teenagers are like), and she wastes no time in lying to her family and the nuns at school and sneaking out with a friend to meet the much older Harry and Ben in Boston. Perhaps they'll grow up and be more sympathetic characters in the next book, but you won't find much to care about here. Library only, then buy it if you love it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    ★★★★ It's the start of the new century and Gina and her family have emigrated from Italy to start a new life in America. "Never forget where you came from." Before Tatiana and Alexander Before Leningrad and Lazarevo Before everything, there was Gina from Belpasso who came to Boston's Freedom Docks to find a new and better life and met Harry Barrington who was searching for his." I never wanted to read this. What's the point when we know how the story ends, it can bring nothing but heartache? So I tho ★★★★ It's the start of the new century and Gina and her family have emigrated from Italy to start a new life in America. "Never forget where you came from." Before Tatiana and Alexander Before Leningrad and Lazarevo Before everything, there was Gina from Belpasso who came to Boston's Freedom Docks to find a new and better life and met Harry Barrington who was searching for his." I never wanted to read this. What's the point when we know how the story ends, it can bring nothing but heartache? So I thought that I'd just skip this one and go directly to Bellagrand, to meet a young Alexander. What made me finally read this was that the author is my all time favourite, And I'm so grateful I decided to pick up Children of Liberty. It was so much better than I could have imagined. This is essential to read to completely understand Harry and Gina. And no, this first part of their story, isn't sad at all. On the contrary, I fell in love with this book from the moment a 14 year old- Gina stepped foot on American soil with her family in 1899. I adored being in that era. Learning how the filthy rich lived, seeing how immigrants, like Gina survived, it was fascinating. I was a little worried beforehand that the politics of this story would bore me, but it didn't at all. What little there was, was actually very interesting. The ratings are extremely underserving to this book. They have to be because people doesn't like the turn of events. It can't be anything else. It's extremely confusing to me. Nothing will ever be as good as The Bronze Horseman but the writing is just as exquisite. The passages are meaningful and deep. Are you a fan of Paullina Simons you will recognise yourself immediately and adore every second. This book really did consume me. "Love is the strongest and deepest element in all life. The harbinger of hope, of ecstasy, the defier of all laws, of all conventions. Man has conquered nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has subdued bodies, chained the spirit but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, yet he will remain poor and desolate if love passes him by. Love, ladies and gentleman, has the power to make out a beggar a king." Paullina has such an amazing gift. Even though I didn't agree with everything that happened in this book, she somehow made me love it anyway. No one can do that but her. Not only was the writing astonishing, she also introduced us to the most wonderful set of characters. Harry's whole family, and his wealthy word, I eventually grow to love it all. Gina's whole family and their struggle to make a new world. I loved it all. The contrast between the two worlds was so much fun to spend time in. I instantly loved Salvo, Gina's brother the most. And I loved Gina, she reminded me so much of a young Tatiana Metanova. The fact that I knew from the start, how Gina and Harry's fateful love would end didn't take away from the story one bit. In fact, I think Paullina Simons is a genius for releasing this as a prequel when we already know the main story. It was the first time I've ever read a story in this order and I loved it. I have grown tired of stories with a traditional happily ever afters. I want angst and drama. Anyway, this had nothing sad about it but if you are avoiding this because of sadness, don't. Have you no interest in finding out how exactly the events leading to Russia or misery turns out, and are just curious to see How Gina and Harry ended up together? Then read Children of Libarty as a stand alone. It's so beautiful it's worth it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Prequel to one of my all time favorite series (The Bronze Horseman trilogy) This is where we meet Alexander's parents Gina and Harry. Gina, is the youngest daughter in an Italian family, recently arrived to Boston's shores. Harry is the only son of a wealthy American businessman. Slow moving storyline, but a lot of background information on the different political movements sweeping across America in the early 20th century. Prequel to one of my all time favorite series (The Bronze Horseman trilogy) This is where we meet Alexander's parents Gina and Harry. Gina, is the youngest daughter in an Italian family, recently arrived to Boston's shores. Harry is the only son of a wealthy American businessman. Slow moving storyline, but a lot of background information on the different political movements sweeping across America in the early 20th century.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*

    Re-read..planning to get into The Bronze Horseman, and was hoping it would change my review. Not really, but as I missed some things from the first time around..I gave it a 3 star instead of a 2.5 I might try "Bellagrand" But my opinion/review for this one stands. Setting: Turn of the century Boston Gina Attaviano sails with her family from Sicily to Freedom Docks Boston, where she meets Harry Barrington. Although Gina only has eyes for Harry, he is the scion of a wealthy family and she feels there Re-read..planning to get into The Bronze Horseman, and was hoping it would change my review. Not really, but as I missed some things from the first time around..I gave it a 3 star instead of a 2.5 I might try "Bellagrand" But my opinion/review for this one stands. Setting: Turn of the century Boston Gina Attaviano sails with her family from Sicily to Freedom Docks Boston, where she meets Harry Barrington. Although Gina only has eyes for Harry, he is the scion of a wealthy family and she feels there is no hope for her. However, five years later Gina-now Jane-is a college student graduate and Harry is a struggling academic plagued by his parent's demands that he give up his career to join the family business. A chance meeting alters their lives. As they begin a secret affair, they must choose between family and love, duty and expectation, passion and loneliness. But their choice has consequences, setting them on a path to ruin. This is the "prequel" to The Bronze Horseman. The telling of Alexander's parents and how they met. Since the end is known of course, it is the beginning that first intrigued me and I had high expectations for this book I think. I didn't find the characters well motivated. I also found the story, as well as Harry and Jane not very passionately absorbing and started to skip here and there just to get through. Do you really need to read this one before the other three? I think not. I haven't yet read the next three books, and I certainly could have done ok without reading this one as I felt it really didn't give me any extra interesting info into the past. But this is just how this reader felt, it maybe just right for others who feel they need to read this before diving into the rest of the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Children of Liberty is the prequel to Paullina Simons much loved Bronze Horseman series. Set in Boston at the turn of the last century, it tells the story of the forbidden love between Gina Attaviano and Harry Barrington, who feature as Alexander’s parents in The Bronze Horseman. Fourteen-year-old Gina, just arrived from Sicily with her mother and brother Salvo, first meets Harry and his best friend Ben as the young men try to drum up customers for their apartments for immigrants near the Freedo Children of Liberty is the prequel to Paullina Simons much loved Bronze Horseman series. Set in Boston at the turn of the last century, it tells the story of the forbidden love between Gina Attaviano and Harry Barrington, who feature as Alexander’s parents in The Bronze Horseman. Fourteen-year-old Gina, just arrived from Sicily with her mother and brother Salvo, first meets Harry and his best friend Ben as the young men try to drum up customers for their apartments for immigrants near the Freedom Docks. And although the family only stay for one night before making their own way to nearby Lawrence to live with other family members from Sicily, Ben is instantly smitten by Gina’s dark-skinned, dark-haired sensual beauty. Despite Salvo’s efforts to protect his sister and his obvious animosity towards her American admirers, Ben starts making frequent visits to the Attaviano family, dragging his friend Harry along for company. Gina, an enterprising young woman with big dreams for the future, falls head-over-heels in love with Harry, the son of a wealthy Boston businessman, who is also engaged to one of Boston’s most eligible socialites. Considering Gina’s youth and their vastly different backgrounds, her love for him seems doomed from the very beginning. But Gina does not give up that easily …. The problem with prequels of much loved books is that they are being read with high expectations, and can easily disappoint when those are not being met. Since The Bronze Horseman features on my all-time-favourites list, I tried to put those thoughts aside when picking up this book, and to read it with an open mind and judge it on its own merits rather than in comparison with its sequels. And whilst Boston’s politics and turn-of-the-century history could never compete with the interesting and dramatic backdrop of the siege of Leningrad, I was soon drawn into the story and really enjoyed reading about Harry and Gina’s love story. As Alexander’s parents I had thought them rather foolhardy for trading the freedoms of American life for the confines of communism, despite trying to understand their idealistic political beliefs. Reading about their young love totally changed this opinion, and their characters gained much more depth as I read about their youthfully innocent hopes for a better future. Gina Attaviano is a delightful character. Like Tatiana, she sparkles with youthful innocence and energy, and I liked her tremendously. Her scheme to win Harry over and ingratiate him with her brother was nothing short of ingenious. I could picture her vividly, this colourful Sicilian peasant girl, so different from her stuffy Bostonian counterparts. No wonder half of Boston’s bachelors would have fallen instantly in love with her. And how dreary a life it must have been for women at that time, despite their wealth and the nice clothes – not surprising that speakers like Emma Goldman drew such large crowds as women were fighting for recognition as equals in society. Simons does an excellent job at painting Boston society at the beginning of the 20th century – although I admit that a lot of the political details were lost on me, as I was mostly ignorant about Boston’s historical past and famous characters and had to google them to understand their background (I am a little bit wiser now :). And whilst Gina and Harry’s love story did not evoke the same roller coaster ride of emotions as the one I experienced reading The Bronze Horseman, I enjoyed every moment reading this book and finished it in one day. My advice to readers is to read this story in its own right, not as a prequel to the Bronze Horseman – and to let it take you on its own unique journey. Thank you to The Reading Room for providing me with a copy of this book!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paiman

    For fans of Paullina Simon's work, in particular her Bronze Horseman series, this book was both to be excited and nervous about. Since this can be thought of as a prequel to TBH series, many already knew how the story of Jane and Harold Barrington ended, but not the "beginning" and "middle" part of their story. I would say that Children of Liberty is about the start of their story. It didn't ruin the book for me, but I thought this book would be more of their life together and their is still pl For fans of Paullina Simon's work, in particular her Bronze Horseman series, this book was both to be excited and nervous about. Since this can be thought of as a prequel to TBH series, many already knew how the story of Jane and Harold Barrington ended, but not the "beginning" and "middle" part of their story. I would say that Children of Liberty is about the start of their story. It didn't ruin the book for me, but I thought this book would be more of their life together and their is still plenty of their story left to be told, I believe. If Paullina ever wants to write another book about the "middle" of their story, I'm all game. Having said that, the "beginning" is pretty good. It has the classic Paullina Simons slow build up and burn. I got more invested in the story and characters the further I got into it. The longing and the denial of feelings and what is expected of one, the culture and class clashes, old school thoughts and traditions during and start of a new century and industrial revolution. Both Harry and Gina rebel in this respect, hence the title Children of Liberty. That's another interesting aspect of the story. How Gina Anttaviano becomes Jane Barrington and how Harry Barrington becomes Harold Barrington. As someone who read The Bronze Horseman series it was interesting and fun to see how characteristics from both mother and father are in their son, Alexander. Another minor complaint I have is all the dialogue and passages about politics and economics. I see Paullina's background as a financial journalist and political science major really coming through here. I understand with the era that the novel takes place in, and we know later on how politically involved both Harold and Jane become, the importance of showing the beginnings of this mindset and way of life they decide later on is important. It could just be me, but I thought a few times it brought the pace down and I would have liked more scenes with Gina and Harry just being Gina and Harry- young and love. There is beautiful writing (as expected by Mrs. Simons)that is just like poetry. One particular passage that stuck out for me: "Love is the strongest and deepest element in all life. The harbinger of hope, of ecstasy, the defier of all laws, of all conventions. Man has conquered nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has subdued bodies, chained the spirit but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, yet he will remain poor and desolate if love passes him by. Love, ladies and gentleman, has the power to make out a beggar a king." I wish once again that goodreads would do half stars, but alas, the site doesn't so a solid instead.Having said all this, if you are fan of Paullina Simons work or want a good story of two people coming together and finding love, this is for you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jacinta Boland

    Sadly the anticipation was the only form of pleasure here. Simons forgot to make her characters likeable before they started behaving badly and I was grateful when the weak plot (full of weird inclusions at the the end, added in attempt to make it all come together?) finally ground to a halt. Preachy, tedious and utterly underwhelming. I am not sure I can put it on the shelf beside its much-loved cousins from the same author.

  8. 4 out of 5

    SissiReads

    This is my sixth books by Paullina Simons and it just once again shows why she will forever remains to be my favourite author of all time. I finished this book with a throbbing heart. I don't know how to make of my feelings and my emotions. I don't know if I should be glad or sad, should be anger and hurt, or should be happy and hopeful. It makes me so conflicted that I really don't know what to do with myself! I came into this book thinking I would not love Harry and Gina for what they have done This is my sixth books by Paullina Simons and it just once again shows why she will forever remains to be my favourite author of all time. I finished this book with a throbbing heart. I don't know how to make of my feelings and my emotions. I don't know if I should be glad or sad, should be anger and hurt, or should be happy and hopeful. It makes me so conflicted that I really don't know what to do with myself! I came into this book thinking I would not love Harry and Gina for what they have done in The Bronze Horseman series, for their choices. But I can't help but have fallen deeply in love with both of them! I love their passionate and carefree young love! Oh how glorious are those days! But the consequences? I can't even begin to think about this without having an anxiety attack! I just know for sure that book 2 Bellagrand is going to be hard to read, the agnst that's going to come! The writing in this book is phenomenal. I know a lot of readers are not fond of all the political discussions in the book but lucky for me, I love politics so that totally is a bonus for me in this book. The way Paullina wrote about family dynamic is just out of the world! The banters, the insults, the subtle hidden agendas, each character development is just so well done and polished, all of them mix so well together, I have laughed out loud so many times and cringed so many time equally! Those parts are so refreshing to me and new to me from other Paullina's books that I feel like i am reading another author's work! It won't be a Paullina Simons' book without an all consuming and angsty love story and oh my world, that's exactly what this love story to me! From page 1 to the end of the book, I feel it all! The angst, the longing the hope the angry the desire, all of it. When I read those parts, I saw the Paullina Simons writing that made me fall madly in love with The Bronze Horseman series! The beautiful prose, those whisper words! Those stolen moments! I can't get enough! I should have known better to prepare myself before I read this book, I should have known better that it is going to make me ache my heart out with the angst! It makes me feel so conflicted and that's why I love Paullina Simons, she truly makes you feel all the emotions that you have never felt before with her words. I need to brave myself into Bellagrand, my poor heart, will it survive?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mollie

    "It’s late afternoon on the wide Hampton beach; it’s gray and foggy when he kisses her. He’s never kissed Sicilian lips before, only Bostonian. There is a boiling ocean of contrast between the two. Boston girls were born and raised on soil that was frozen from October to April and breathed through perfectly colored mouths that took in chill winds and fog from the stormy harbor. But his Sicilian queen has roamed the Mediterranean meadows and her abundant lips breathed in fearsome fire from Typhon "It’s late afternoon on the wide Hampton beach; it’s gray and foggy when he kisses her. He’s never kissed Sicilian lips before, only Bostonian. There is a boiling ocean of contrast between the two. Boston girls were born and raised on soil that was frozen from October to April and breathed through perfectly colored mouths that took in chill winds and fog from the stormy harbor. But his Sicilian queen has roamed the Mediterranean meadows and her abundant lips breathed in fearsome fire from Typhonic volcanoes. He kisses her as if they are alone at night—as if she is already his. His arms wrap around her back and press her to him. They become suspended, he floats like a phantom around her in the moist air. He won’t let her go, he can’t." This is fine quality writing. Paullina Simons crafted a beautiful beginning to Harold & Gina's non-traditional happy ending. My heart absolutely melted for this couple. They were fools, but fools in love. They have a love to desire, but not one you can easily respect. It's doomed from the start. We learn about their demise in The Bronze Horseman series, so you're reading into this with an ending in hand. We know what's coming. I think I relished in this love affair because of that, no matter how messy the circumstances, and because I see this as the calm before the storm. The dream before their reality, Bellagrand, that is. Children of Liberty is the first part to Harold & Gina's journey and Bellagrand the second. I know I will visit this story again in the future. To me it is epic. What is the saying? All great love stories must end in tragedy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Korrie’s Korner

    I'm breathless, stunned and I need a minute to process. My poor heart! This is what Paullina Simons does to me every time. A punch right to the feels, but yet you dare not stop. I love Gina "Jane" and Harry Barrington. That is all❤️ I'm breathless, stunned and I need a minute to process. My poor heart! This is what Paullina Simons does to me every time. A punch right to the feels, but yet you dare not stop. I love Gina "Jane" and Harry Barrington. That is all❤️

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I want to give this 5 stars because I just smashed the last 100 pages and am on a total high! But I can't forget the slow, sinking and eerily disappointing feeling I had for the first half of the book. There was a lot of character development and introductions to get through. In true Paullina Simons style she does not hold out with her pen. But after about 100 pages I was losing interest and getting VERY worried about where this whole thing was going. But I knew I shouldn't have stressed about i I want to give this 5 stars because I just smashed the last 100 pages and am on a total high! But I can't forget the slow, sinking and eerily disappointing feeling I had for the first half of the book. There was a lot of character development and introductions to get through. In true Paullina Simons style she does not hold out with her pen. But after about 100 pages I was losing interest and getting VERY worried about where this whole thing was going. But I knew I shouldn't have stressed about it too much, because finally when Gina and Harry's affair began to really get started things got better. Gina is a lively and lovable character. Harry was very mysterious in the beginning. A closed book almost. He didn't offer much. But as the story went on and I got to know him better I really fell in love with him. He had a smart, witty and yet sometimes dark sense of humour. I loved his jealous streak, and his courage and passion. Turning the last few pages made me sad as we all know where these star-crossed lovers meet their final fate. Or do we? I'm hoping in the next book (or two?) Paullina reveals Gina's true undoing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Athena Macmillan

    I am a big fan of Paullina Simons and as such had huge expecations for this book, thinking it would draw me in as her others have so successfully. Honestly? I was bored. The book droned on terribly with a very predictable run, including the long expected 'plot-twist' at the end. It almost seemed as though Simons wanted to see how much political diatribe she could fit in one book and still call it a romance, which is a terrible pity because the beginning chapters held so much promise! Because of t I am a big fan of Paullina Simons and as such had huge expecations for this book, thinking it would draw me in as her others have so successfully. Honestly? I was bored. The book droned on terribly with a very predictable run, including the long expected 'plot-twist' at the end. It almost seemed as though Simons wanted to see how much political diatribe she could fit in one book and still call it a romance, which is a terrible pity because the beginning chapters held so much promise! Because of the ending one can only assume this is part of a trilogy, so lets hope things improve for our characters! This is about Alexander Barrington (of the Bronze Horseman)'s parents, so we know at the outset that eventually they meet a tragic end because of their communist ideals and subsequent travels to Russia, so let's hope that this first book is merely a slow build for a coming exciting ride of hope, intrigue, passion and despair...!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abs

    4.5* my heart needed a few days to process this one. That ending broke me. I haven't been able to read anything in months, and knowing how I already felt about these characters because of The Bronze Horseman series, I was hesitant to read this. But, it's Paullina & of course I fell in love with these flawed and doomed characters. I went into it with an open mind and regardless of how much I wanted to hate them, I didn't. Not one bit. Some of the scenes between Gina and Harry are unforgettable. G 4.5* my heart needed a few days to process this one. That ending broke me. I haven't been able to read anything in months, and knowing how I already felt about these characters because of The Bronze Horseman series, I was hesitant to read this. But, it's Paullina & of course I fell in love with these flawed and doomed characters. I went into it with an open mind and regardless of how much I wanted to hate them, I didn't. Not one bit. Some of the scenes between Gina and Harry are unforgettable. Gina was such a scheming and compelling character, and I couldn't get enough of her. Harry intrigued me because I needed to know what was going on in his head, he was mysterious and I missed him when I wasn't reading about him. I didn't trust anyone (except maybe Rose --- LOVED her), so the suspense and the way the story slowly unfolded with the different points of views and side stories had me completely invested. My only tiny reason for not giving it a perfect 5 star review was because of the politics. II didn't hate them, but there was a lot. Thank God it was Paullina writing this or it might have been torture. She just has a way. I laughed so much, esp the banter between Ben & Harry & the Thursday night dinners etc. I just loved this one. I feel closer to Shura because I know more of his history and I'm one step closer to reading my beloved The Bronze Horseman. On to Bellagrand.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    I was lucky enough to meet Paullina Simons on her recent book tour in Sydney as she promoted Children of Liberty and as I loved The Bronze Horseman and The Summer Garden I was really excited about this book. Children of Liberty is a prequel to The Bronze Horseman and is set in Boston in 1899 and is about Harold Barrington and Gina Attaviano (Jane) who became Alexander’s parents. It is about how they met when Gina and her mother and brother first arrived in the States and how against all odds, they I was lucky enough to meet Paullina Simons on her recent book tour in Sydney as she promoted Children of Liberty and as I loved The Bronze Horseman and The Summer Garden I was really excited about this book. Children of Liberty is a prequel to The Bronze Horseman and is set in Boston in 1899 and is about Harold Barrington and Gina Attaviano (Jane) who became Alexander’s parents. It is about how they met when Gina and her mother and brother first arrived in the States and how against all odds, they fell in love defying the social class system of the wealth (the Barringtons) and the lower class of immigrants. I loved reading about how they met and fell in love and I could actually see Tatiana in Gina. The carefree and often rebellious nature of Gina is the same as Tatiana.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Perla The IB Teen Book Blogger

    Oh God, I am bracing my heart to be broken. The pain of loving this series is so great, I can't live without it. A prequel- it will be so sad!!! Oh God, I am bracing my heart to be broken. The pain of loving this series is so great, I can't live without it. A prequel- it will be so sad!!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kathi

    A bit disappointing. Still enjoyable but nowhere near the intensity of how I feel for all of her other stories. Have no idea whatsoever what Gina saw in Harry. None. He was a spineless idiot.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    What happened to my review? It has disappeared. So...review to come.... 1st read: July 17-18, 2015 2nd read: June 17-20, 2015

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    From what I can gather, Children of Liberty is the first book in a new series, which leads up to her most popular series, the Tatiana and Alexander trilogy. I haven't read that series yet, though I plan to begin it in the next week or so, but my research indicates that the main characters in Children of Liberty, are the parents in The Bronze Horseman. Sadly, while an okay read, all signs indicate that Children of Liberty pales in comparison to Simons' previous works. By far, the biggest problem h From what I can gather, Children of Liberty is the first book in a new series, which leads up to her most popular series, the Tatiana and Alexander trilogy. I haven't read that series yet, though I plan to begin it in the next week or so, but my research indicates that the main characters in Children of Liberty, are the parents in The Bronze Horseman. Sadly, while an okay read, all signs indicate that Children of Liberty pales in comparison to Simons' previous works. By far, the biggest problem here is the writing. So much of it is odd, sentences strung together in strange ways that don't add to the narrative. Much of the dialogue is stilted and unnatural. Characters will be discussing one topic and then suddenly veer off onto another one without any warning or natural progression. These weaknesses are especially prevalent in the first half of the novel, but continue throughout. The novel is also quite slow to begin, as I did not care at all about any of the characters right off the boat. Gina is 14 when Children of Liberty begins, and she acts it, her thoughts and words childish and naive. Her mother, the annoyingly named Mimoo, never serves any purpose but to worry. Her brother, Salvo, is an asshole who treats everyone with disdain, especially his sister. Even worse, he turns out not to matter a whole lot in the overall story, not appearing once after about the halfway point. Why spend so much time on him if he doesn't matter? I suppose if the rest of the intended series is published he'll matter again, but it's awkward for now. The historical setting at the turn of the century should have been enthralling. Ben, Harry's friend, is working to get the Panama Canal constructed to revolutionize exporting around the world. Radicals like Eugene Debs and Emma Goldman are often referenced and even make appearances. As a history nerd, these elements should have left me feeling more educated and curious, but they were poorly integrated and I found myself sorely tempted to skim. Ben just kept going on and on about his bananas. Ben's mom kept getting on her soapbox about anti-imperialism. Later, Gina becomes interested in anarchism. Yet, none of these seem to matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. So far as I can tell, the anarchism only matters because it loosened Gina's morals. Speaking of Gina's morals, we're coming to the stumbling block that really mattered more than most of those other things: I really hate Harry. Gina wants Harry from the moment she first meets him, when she's 14 and he's 21. She pursues him for six goddamn years. That's pathetic enough all on it's own, but, worse, he's in a serious relationship the entire time, engaged for five of those years. Of course, since the book is about their romance more than anything, he eventually capitulates to her charms and they have a whole lot of sex. While he's engaged to another woman. There is nothing that can make this okay with me, and Harry was already a weak-willed, annoying, whiny liar to begin with. Gina's attraction to him made me dislike her, even though in every other respect her older self is actually fairly likable. Still, Children of Liberty was a decent read on the whole. I appreciated the banter between Ben and Harry at least, and it was fairly fast-paced. I didn't quite dislike it, but there is so much room for improvement. I really hope The Bronze Horseman is better, but every review I've seen assures me that it is. If you're a fan of that series, don't embark on this one expecting it to be anywhere near as good.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Edee Fallon

    Okay...So hear me out. I've not yet read a raving review and I get it. I get it. I get it. But, I have my own opinion on Children of Liberty. I rated it five stars and this is why... Anyone who knows me or that follows me on gr, fb or my book blog knows that The Bronze Horseman series isn't just a book series to me. I don't even know how to put into words what these books are to me. It's just impossible. Believe me, I've tried. Words fail me every time. I believe, and this is not an attempt to sw Okay...So hear me out. I've not yet read a raving review and I get it. I get it. I get it. But, I have my own opinion on Children of Liberty. I rated it five stars and this is why... Anyone who knows me or that follows me on gr, fb or my book blog knows that The Bronze Horseman series isn't just a book series to me. I don't even know how to put into words what these books are to me. It's just impossible. Believe me, I've tried. Words fail me every time. I believe, and this is not an attempt to sway or argue anyone's opinion, but I believe that anyone who has really read deeply into TBH, especially T&A, would understand that Children of Liberty is NOT supposed to be an all consuming heart wrenching epic love story like TBH is. If you took the time to reflect on Harry and Jane's part in the series, you'd already know that they made awful, terrible choices that they felt were the right ones at the time. Well, obviously Jane/Gina didn't have complete faith in the choice to renounce her citizenship or she would not have taken $10,000 dollars with her to communist Russia or taken the train with Alexander to the U.S. Embassy to try and get him passage back to America. Even Harold understood his folly at his end, even if it was too late to change anything. I believe Mrs. Simmons did an amazing job of setting up this story arc and the character traits that were necessary in propagating the thought process and behaviors that we learned in T&A about our beloved Alexander's parents. Harry is a fool. I don't think any of us could argue that. He is also selfish and cowardly at times. And Jane/Gina well she is also quite foolish, yet I do believe they truly loved each other. Children of Liberty keeps Harry and Jane/Gina in true character of what we've learned from their parts in TBH. What else would you expect from COL? If you were expecting anything else, than I can understand why you'd be disappointed. I loved Children of Liberty and cannot wait to read Bellagrand. PS. I loved that we got to know Esther as well and can now understand better why she turned Tatia away at first.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Renee Werthwein

    4.5*** Absolutely loved this book!! I'm sitting here, trying to get myself to start reading the next book and I just can't. I can't move on yet. I love a book that has me so wrapped up in the characters. I'm thinking of all the things I want to scream at them for, cry with them, hug them. I'm just so emotional over this book. I know what happens in TBH, but that doesn't matter to me. I'm so wrapped up in Gina and Harry's story. All I care about is them and the choices they are making now, I don' 4.5*** Absolutely loved this book!! I'm sitting here, trying to get myself to start reading the next book and I just can't. I can't move on yet. I love a book that has me so wrapped up in the characters. I'm thinking of all the things I want to scream at them for, cry with them, hug them. I'm just so emotional over this book. I know what happens in TBH, but that doesn't matter to me. I'm so wrapped up in Gina and Harry's story. All I care about is them and the choices they are making now, I don't care how it affects the future. I was borderline going to give this book a 5*, but there were a couple parts where the political stuff kinda dragged on. Overall, I obviously love it and it's a MUST read!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Keighley

    Woah cant believe the reviews for this!! Think I will skip it & go straight to Bellagrand . Shuras parents might be awful, awful people but I want to know what happened to them! Woah cant believe the reviews for this!! Think I will skip it & go straight to Bellagrand . Shuras parents might be awful, awful people but I want to know what happened to them!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ack1977

    Very disappointing. I loved the bronze horseman for the historical setting and was expecting more of the same from the prequel. Instead the book plodded along with Harold's indecisions and then ended prematurely. Very disappointing. I loved the bronze horseman for the historical setting and was expecting more of the same from the prequel. Instead the book plodded along with Harold's indecisions and then ended prematurely.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Alycia

    TBH prequel!!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alexis Farley

    Too much talk about politics, slow moving plot, unlikable boring characters - very disappointing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Reese White

    I think I just got tears in my eyes...a bronze horseman prequel!!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    Gina is a stubborn, selfish woman...BUT she knows what she wants. Harry (Harold) is quiet and reserved...BUT extremely passionate. There are some political humps I had to work through (google became a close friend), but I could see the silver lining. I haven't read the core TBH series in over a year, yet I can find the similarities without looking far...how these Barrington's love. Gia and Harry's determination, the perseverance in their love is a story I'll remember comparable to how I'll never Gina is a stubborn, selfish woman...BUT she knows what she wants. Harry (Harold) is quiet and reserved...BUT extremely passionate. There are some political humps I had to work through (google became a close friend), but I could see the silver lining. I haven't read the core TBH series in over a year, yet I can find the similarities without looking far...how these Barrington's love. Gia and Harry's determination, the perseverance in their love is a story I'll remember comparable to how I'll never forget the kind of love I experienced between their son, Alexander (Shura) and Tania. The ending of CoL was the best and I can't wait to pick up where CoL left off with Bellagrand.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nell

    I think the best thing this book had going for it was that it was extremely easy to read. Now, it’s been years since I read the first two books in the Bronze Horseman trilogy, so I’ll be really honest in that I could remember absolutely nothing about the parents from those books, and I probably missed some of the “snippets” that tied back to the original trilogy that might have made this book better. I felt that the book was lacking a plot – it felt like the author had had the material to write a I think the best thing this book had going for it was that it was extremely easy to read. Now, it’s been years since I read the first two books in the Bronze Horseman trilogy, so I’ll be really honest in that I could remember absolutely nothing about the parents from those books, and I probably missed some of the “snippets” that tied back to the original trilogy that might have made this book better. I felt that the book was lacking a plot – it felt like the author had had the material to write a short story, and then had to make a novel out of it and used filler to reach the page requirement. And the filler seemed to be the authors “interesting” bits of research, which she at times awkwardly tried to work in around her characters. It was like “oh, here’s some stuff I found out about, let me loosely tie this into my characters somehow so I can fill a few pages.” I don’t mind that sort of thing so much when it’s more relevant to the characters, their story or development. But it just didn’t seem to be in this case. The other part of the filler was taking so much time with the story when Gina was so young. It really felt that beyond the initial meeting and establishment of the character's feelings, not a lot happened in the first half of the book. The settling of the Attaviano's in the country actually had good potential to be interesting, but then really fell flat. The second half of the book felt more like it had somewhere to go, with Gina being older, and Harry's life coming to a crossroads, but the momentum that I felt could have been built once again just fell a little flat. Harry was a weak "hero" and his lack of character and depth hindered the book. Gina was a great heroine, she was strong, feisty and interesting. But as soon as she got around Harry she just lost so much of herself in what she thought she should be for him. There were some great opportunities for the author to development some side relationships and a greater depth of emotional conflict, with Harry's lady and Gina's brother meeting, Ben and Harry's sister. It felt like there were stories to be told there, but it all just got left and nothing happened. What frustrates me is this book had honest to goodness potential, and it was all left hanging unrealised. One of the biggest things that bugged me about this book was the change in writing perspective. A majority of the book was written in third person from a character’s perspective, primarily Gina or Harry. But for some reason when the author got to a particularly emotional scene she switched to a more omniscient third person perspective, where it was told from neither of the characters point of view and suddenly you were completely distanced from the characters and their emotions, and what could have been a good, impactful emotional scene suddenly lost it’s emotionality. It was quite annoying. The ending just did not hit the spot for me, but I did feel that it ran true to Harry's character - weak and ineffectual. I know because you get to hear their story in the Bronze Horseman trilogy, that there was still a lot of their story left untold, which was fine. But it also felt like things were still left in the middle of a mess and there wasn't actually any kind of resolution, and the author could have tied things up a little more conclusively to make the story more complete by itself. So, overall, I felt the book was easy reading, but poorly written and with little in the way of plot. For anyone that wants something that won’t require any thinking that is interesting enough, then this is the book for you.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Audra (Unabridged Chick)

    From the first line, I knew this wasn't my book. Tell-not-show is my reader-ly pet peeve, especially in historical fiction, and the opening chapters felt heavy with telling. I ended up DNFing this book at 104 pages as I just couldn't stand Simons' writing style. Set in 1899, Sicilian Gina -- on the cusp of turning 15 -- emigrates to the US with her mother and older brother. Upon landing in Boston, they meet Harry Barrington and Ben Shaw, Boston brahmins who manage apartments for newly arrived imm From the first line, I knew this wasn't my book. Tell-not-show is my reader-ly pet peeve, especially in historical fiction, and the opening chapters felt heavy with telling. I ended up DNFing this book at 104 pages as I just couldn't stand Simons' writing style. Set in 1899, Sicilian Gina -- on the cusp of turning 15 -- emigrates to the US with her mother and older brother. Upon landing in Boston, they meet Harry Barrington and Ben Shaw, Boston brahmins who manage apartments for newly arrived immigrants (they're the nicest slumlords in history). Ben is hot for Gina, but we the reader know Harry secretly wants her, five year age difference, economic status, and cultural backgrounds be damned. (Also, this is a prequel to Simons' wildly popular Tatiana and Alexander books, featuring Alexander's parents. Even without having read those three books, I had a hunch where this was going.) Actually, I can't say for certain that's what happened, having stopped just one hundred pages in, but Simons isn't subtle with her set up nor the way she unfolds the story. Gina is childish but winsome, exaggeratedly naive and yet unconsciously sexual; she skips up church stairs but also rebelliously unpins her hair during a candlelit dinner with the two strange men she just met. She's a sweet, naive 14 year old who relishes rendering men speechless. Ben Shaw is related to Robert Gould Shaw, and for any reader who doesn't know who he is, Simons stops just short of describing him as Matthew Broderick in Glory. Harry Barrington (who, I admit, I kept calling Harry Barry in my head) is cold and bemused and aloof, unimpressed with Ben's hot interest in Gina, telegraphing to all their eventual getting together-ness. Simons infodumps by having Ben and Harry do this frenetic bantering thing -- which was exhausting -- but Gina finds it delightful, of course.  It gave great historical context to early 20th century Boston, but it felt so unnatural and forced, I couldn't shake the feeling of getting a lecture. In addition to the characters, I found Simons' writing style to be off-putting: she has this weird joke-y commentary thing going on with Harry's scenes, while we're omniscient third person with Gina. From a dinner with Harry and company: "...The bananas need to be collected, appraised, counted, packaged and crated. Someone has to do all this." "And someone has to make the crates," Herman said, seeing the nails because all he carried was a hammer. "First they have to procure the lumber to make the crates," Orville cut in, seeing the nails because all he carried was a hammer. "Absolutely," Ben agreed, who carried a number of tools with him. (p71) And from the aforementioned candlelit dinner with Gina, her brother, and Ben and Harry: He kicked the chair again, harder. She looked over at him. What, she mouthed with irritation. He gestured to her hair with his eyes. You want me to tie up my hair, she rhetorically mutely asked him. Fine, here you go. Raising her hands to her head, she pulled out all the pins and laid them on the table, in front of her plate. ... (p37) I will say, she makes her characters big and bold and strong, and if you like those flavors in your fiction, you might enjoy this one.  For me, everyone grated, so much so, that by page 64 I was counting down those last forty as I worked my way to one hundred.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    It took me a long time to get into this book. The fact that I took so long to read it and read other books in between, shows that I was never wholly engaged with the characters and the story. This is the first Paullina Simons book I have read. It started off well with the Attaviano family off to America from Sicily, where they meet Ben and Harry. The banter between Ben and Harry and other characters later on in the book I found annoying and overdone. I had to laugh at some of the attitudes of th It took me a long time to get into this book. The fact that I took so long to read it and read other books in between, shows that I was never wholly engaged with the characters and the story. This is the first Paullina Simons book I have read. It started off well with the Attaviano family off to America from Sicily, where they meet Ben and Harry. The banter between Ben and Harry and other characters later on in the book I found annoying and overdone. I had to laugh at some of the attitudes of the times (1899 onwards) regarding etiquette, dress and in particular the bizarre attitude towards bananas. For something we see as so common place that was amusing to see the suspicion in which bananas were held. For me one of the problems was the characters. I didn't find any of them particularly engaging. Harry I found self centred and indolent and had difficulty understanding why anyone would love him and want to marry him. And the political input rather than adding to the story at times overwhelmed it and made for slow going. I gather from the ending there is another book at least to come in the story of Gina and Harry, but I doubt I will read it though I may be prepared to try another book of hers some time down the track. .

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Children of Liberty is a prequel to Paullina Simons "Bronze Horseman Trilogy", which are my favorite books of all time. So I was really looking forward to this prequel. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations. The first three-fourths of the book was really slow going for me. A lot of time was spent on secondary characters and/or historical facts, and not enough time on the relationship developing between Gina/Jane and Harry. By the end of the story I really wasn't feeling the Children of Liberty is a prequel to Paullina Simons "Bronze Horseman Trilogy", which are my favorite books of all time. So I was really looking forward to this prequel. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to my expectations. The first three-fourths of the book was really slow going for me. A lot of time was spent on secondary characters and/or historical facts, and not enough time on the relationship developing between Gina/Jane and Harry. By the end of the story I really wasn't feeling the romance between them at all, and since Harry literally gives up everyone and everything in his life to be with her, that really bothered me. I needed to feel the passion and I just didn't. The ending was also very abrupt. I've heard there is going to be another book, so I'm guessing this might be the reason. If there is another book, I hope it focuses more on Gina/Jane & Harry's relationship, and of course, the child they haven't had yet!!!

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