Friday, July 30, 2010

"Winter Garden" by Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah is such a good book!  It is complex, mysterious, fully of secrets, informative, touching, multifaceted, and full of meaning.  I enjoy books about family relationships and this one is one of the best I ever read.  The older sister, Meredith, always tried to please everyone else, and Nina, an adventuresome photojournalist, are sisters with very different personalities but both feel unloved by their mother, Anya, until they learn her background after their father dies.

The father loved his family very much and his dying wish was that his wife and daughters would become close and love each other too.  The author skillfully conveys much about Russian culture and what it is like to live in a war-torn country through Anya’s account of her life in the form of a fairy tale which is a puzzle her daughters eventually piece together. 

I enjoyed reading how the mother and daughters were reconciled and liked the bitter sweet ending.  All the main characters were well developed and the author also gives insight into love and marriage issues through the various characters.  This book shows how strong women can be when it comes to protecting their family.  I found the way the peasants in Russia lived through the war very interesting.  It also shows how the past affects our present life and how relationships improve when we make an effort to really get to know others.  This is a family saga definitely worth reading.   I look forward to reading more of Kristin Hannah’s books, this was my first and I highly recommend it.
Here's what the author says about it:

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

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