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Reviewed by Ryan Priest for Readers' Favorite
Tatiana by Madeline Brock is the coming of age story of a girl named Tatiana Bergman, set in the early-mid 1800s. She is an impetuous girl who speaks her mind, no matter who is listening. The reader follows her through life as God transforms her from a brash, rude, and reckless girl into a considerate, loving, and prayerful, but no less outspoken young woman. Tatiana is brought through many trials and adventures that leave the reader laughing or sorrowful, but ultimately encouraged. The book is shaped around the verse of Psalms 51:10: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." It is interesting how this concept is played out in Tatiana's life.
This is an excellent book. The strength is in the characters. They are well-rounded, realistic people. The variety of characters is also compelling. You have everything from the cruel schoolgirl, to the loving sister, from a quiet beau, to the fire-and-brimstone preacher. The characters are what drives the story, and ultimately what will keep readers returning for another go-around. There is enough romance to satisfy a girl, but not so much as to bore a boy. One small weakness is in the plot. The plot has little driving it and much of the time the reader is simply drifting through Tatiana's life. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but do not expect a gripping page-turner. It isn't a race to the finish, but instead a leisurely stroll. It is an excellent read for all ages and categories, but especially for teenagers that desire a Christian romance with lovable characters. I enjoyed the book greatly and look forward to the next installment.