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Winter Garden Kindle Edition
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Can a woman ever really know herself if she doesn't know her mother?
From the author of the smash-hit bestseller Firefly Lane and True Colors comes Kristin Hannah's powerful, heartbreaking novel that illuminates the intricate mother-daughter bond and explores the enduring links between the present and the past
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 Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B003672JHG
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press; First edition (January 28, 2010)
- Publication date : January 28, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 2569 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 401 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #522 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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A while ago I came across and read “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah and loved it so when this book was recommended by a friend and knowing that it was also about WWII era I picked it up enthusiastically. Unfortunately it turned out to be a HUGE disappointment as it does not compare in any way to her former book.
The characters in this book are extremely flat, one dimensional and unrelatable. They are outright cold and unlikable and no matter the horrible experiences they go through I couldn’t bring myself to feel sorry for them. The first half of the book is a constant repetition of how damaged the relationship between the mother and her daughters is and how disconnected they are from each other and themselves. The plot barely advances and there is no deeper insight into the characters either, a complete drag. When the parallel WWII Russia story starts the plot somewhat gains momentum but again the book does very little to connect you to that era. It feels to me like despite the valuable research Mrs Hannah has done on Stalin era Leningrad she has very little understanding and appreciation of the nuances and intricacies of the culture and the place she writes about. As such her description of the events and characters in that era is superficial at best.
And the ending was the worst part. It is so sugar coated it feels completely fake and unrealistic as if she wanted to reward her readers with cheap candy for perseveringly through the misery of the rest of it.
All in all this book was definitely not for me or anyone looking for a good piece of literarure or realistic account of WWII Russia and its survivors. Please save your time and money and read something else!
I say skip it read one of her others for example the Nightingale now there was a great book !
Top reviews from other countries
This story follows the lives of the Whitson family - sisters Meredith and Nina and their elderly parents Evan and Anya. The story is ultimately Anya's story. Anya has never been a loving or affectionate mother and through a series of stories we learn why Anya is the way she is. What unfolds is a vivid and heartbreaking account of survival and loss through Stalin's reign of terror in Russia.
Kristen Hannah is excellent at drawing you into the worlds that she creates so you can visualise every tiny detail. The only reason I didn't award the full 5 stars is because the story doesn't really take off until just after the halfway point of the book. Once this happens, the story is riveting but up until that point it can be a bit repetitive by times however it still held my interest.
All in all I loved this book and would highly recommend it. The other book I've read by this author is The Nightingale which was just phenomenal so if you liked Winter Garden and haven't already done so, I strongly urge you to read The Nightingale.