After the epic struggles of THE BRONZE HORSEMAN and TATIANA & ALEXANDER, THE SUMMER GARDEN, the third volume in the series, is a comparatively quiet book about how the main characters manage to live a “normal” life amongst the folks in the wilds of Arizona.

Those flashbacks that are set off into their own sections (that are far too long IMHO,) were here again in this volume, again making me skim those pages as I really wanted to get on with the main story.

What I loved about this story is how realistic it was. Gone is the heady idealism of youthful love and in its place is the gritty reality of the day-to-day, of trying to get on with someone that you are still getting to know, and the difficulties of long-term relationships, especially when the protagonists are not very articulate and are not good at talking through their problems.

I’m not sure I would have enjoyed this volume if I hadn’t read the first two, as this rather quiet story derives its interest from the sturm und drang of what happened before, in volumes 1 and 2. But if you are one of those people who enjoyed THE BRONZE HORSEMAN and TATIANA AND ALEXANDER, you will enjoy this. Four stars.