Friday, September 3, 2010

Book #56 - Winter Garden

Kristin Hannah

Blurb: 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. (From Goodreads)

Length: Medium - 391 pages

Notes: Oh, I don't even know what to say about this book. It would have been a 5 star book for me, but the first half kind of dragged and was hard to get into. But once you got into the meat of the story - wow. I don't even remember how this book made it onto my "to read" list, but I'm glad it did. It is one of those books about WWII that is heart wrenching and sad, yet shows such spirit. This is definitely one of those books that is going to stay with me for a very long time. I loved The Book Thief, but I think that this one affected me even more. I cried so hard that it wasn't just tears running down my face, but the out-loud, shake your body kind of cry. That's how real it felt to me. I read a few reviews of this book online, and reviews tend to be all over the place. A lot of people complained that there wasn't good character development. I disagree with that. I wouldn't necessarily say that the characters are loveable, but after reading the story, I don't think it would have been successful as a book if the characters were loveable and perfect.

Random quote : "'I don't know what's going to happen. I think maybe love can just....dissolve."
'No, it does not.'
'So how do---'
'You hang on. Until your hands are bleeding, and still you do not let go.'"

Recommend: Yes, definitely - but be prepared to cry!

Have you read this book? Share your feelings!

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