Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah


winterReviewed by Julie Moderson

Kristin Hannah started writing with her mother when her mother was near the end of her life with cancer. She put all the notes away when her mother died but started writing while on bed rest while pregnant with her son. By the time her son was born, she was hooked on writing and had finished her first draft. Kristin Hannah has a wonderful style of writing that I love to read. She is truly a great storyteller.

Meredith and her younger sister, Nina, have the most wonderful, loving father but their mother is so stand offish that the girls don’t know her. They don’t even know how old she is or the date of her birthday. Meredith is married to Jeff her best friend from her childhood. Meredith runs the family orchard and often gets her father’s advice. Nina is afraid to make a commitment to anyone. She is a photojournalist and is fantastic at what she does but is always running to another war zone.

The girls wonder how their mother can be so affectionate with their father but at the same time, so withdrawn from them. She shows affection to her granddaughters but not to her own daughters. The family orchard is called Belye Nochi and the home that their father built looks so out of place in Western Washington State. It is built to look like a Russian dacha or summerhouse. Anya Whitson wanted a fairy tale castle and that is what her husband had built for her complete with turret like two story veranda and elaborate fretwork trim. It had a beautiful copper roof and was truly a fairy tale house. Anya told her daughters very elaborate fairy tales but would only tell them in the dark. These fairy tales were unlike any other fairy tales.

When the girls’ father is dying, he makes them promise to take care of their mother. The girls learn all about the fairy tales and what they mean to their family. The story is so beautifully written about the relationships between families and how as adult children we don’t always know why.

Note: Winter Garden is now available in trade paperback. Listed below are some links of interest regarding Winter Garden:

Read an Excerpt

A Discussion Guide

Book Groups Can Sign Up for a Chance to Have Kristin Speak Via Speakerphone

Discussion Themes and Ideas for Book Clubs

Watch Kristin Discuss Winter Garden

Visit Kristin’s Facebook Page

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