Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Winter Garden review

Jacket description:
"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 traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time—and all the way to the end.

Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are."

Wow, what a family drama! I really thought this book might be too romancy for my taste, but I was completely enthralled in the story Kristin Hannah was telling, from start to finish. Such a rich and deep fairy tale intertwined with a family full of hopes, heartaches, and strong women.

I've read Kristin Hannah's novels before and have yet to find one as well written as this. You'll want to hug each and every character, delve deep into each one's story, riding it all out until an incredibly satisfying conclusion. This is no beach read...not light fluff...it's emotional mayhem, in the best way possible. I really, truly enjoyed it and give it a whole-hearted recommendation for anyone looking for a good family story, a bit of history (I actually learned a lot!), and awesome characters.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5
An fantastic choice for a book club!

Winter Garden
Kristin Hannah
400 pages
Adult Fiction
St. Martin's Press
February 2010
Review copy received from publisher

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Charlotte said...

Sounds good! I like books with sisters...

LuAnn said...

Hi, Suko! I really enjoyed your review of this book. By the way, I have an award for you, so be sure to stop by my blog when you get a chance!

Myne Whitman said...

Stories with crossed sisters always make interesting reading.

LuAnn said...

Whoops, sorry, I meant to say "Amanda" I have an award for you!