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Winter Garden Paperback – 1 January 2015
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Sometimes when you open the door to your mother's past, you find your own future . . .
Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and travelled the world to become a famous photo journalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, these two estranged women will find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. On his deathbed, their father extracts one last promise from the women in his life.
It begins with a story that is unlike anything the sisters have heard before - a captivating, mysterious love story that spans sixty-five years and moves from frozen, war torn Leningrad to modern-day Alaska. The vividly imagined tale brings these three women together in a way that none could have expected. Meredith and Nina will finally learn the secret of their mother's past and uncover a truth so terrible it will shake the foundation of their family and change who they think they are.
Every once in a while a writer comes along who navigates the complex and layered landscape of the human heart. For this generation, it's Kristin Hannah. Mesmerizing from the first page to the last, Winter Garden is an evocative, lyrically written novel that will long be remembered.
A gripping read. ― Booklist
Readers will find it hard not to laugh a little and cry a little more as mother and daughters reach out to each other just in the nick of time. ― Publishers Weekly
This tearjerker weaves a convincing historical novel and contemporary family drama. ― Library Journal
Winter Garden is Kristin Hannah’s best written and most deeply affecting novel yet. ― The Huffington Post
- ASIN : 1447265378
- Publisher : Pan (1 January 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 394 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781447265375
- ISBN-13 : 978-1447265375
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Dimensions : 13.4 x 2.8 x 19.6 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: 46,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top reviews from Australia
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I was a bit unsure as to why their father did not say more to relieve the girls' hurt feelings, except to cryptically tell them to listen to their mother's fairy stories. Why didn't he just tell them that their mother had had a difficult life back in Russia?
The final twist to the story I found a bit too coincidental and unbelievable, although a satisfying wrap up. I won't give too much away.
The second half of the book was what really drew me in, though—the unique way Hannah portrayed the historical element of 1930s Russia (told in a fairy tale format) before moving into the real details of WWII and the Leningrad siege (with the transition done in an effortless, natural way) was really wonderful to read. While the fairy-tale aspect was intriguing (and had me on my toes trying to figure out exactly which time period we were in), once the real details started coming the story became truly engrossing and absolutely heart-wrenching.
There were a few moments of déjà vu thanks to some similarities to what is perhaps the most famous novel set during the Leningrad siege, The Bronze Horseman - but these were little details only, not the actual story (personally I found Winter Garden to be a much better read if you are interested in this subject matter)
This book, along with The Nightingale, has definitely cemented Kristin Hannah’s place as one of my go-to authors whenever I am in need of an emotional marathon
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Kristin Hannah certainly knows how to weave a story, and people it with characters that do feel 'real' - characters who I quickly came to know and to care about. The tale begins with two sisters, Meredith and Nina, who are like chalk and cheese. Meredith is a 40 year old married lady, who has two grown up daughters, and runs the family business - a large apple orchard and fresh fruit storage facility. In contrast, Nina is a carefree, successful 37 year old photo journalist, who travels the world - often visiting war-torn countries seeking out those dramatic photographs, whilst facing danger. For reasons that soon become apparent, the sisters are temporarily reunited at the family home. Whilst there, they try to find out more about their rather cold, elusive mother who originally came from Russia. Their mum has never spoken about her life before she came to finally settle in America, her only previous tentative references to Russia was via the Russian fairytales she told to them when they were children. However, in later years, Meredith and Nina begin to suspect that one of those fairytales is based on their mother's real-life experiences......