Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

65%

11 Critic Reviews

The complexity and depth of the “fairy tale” timeline makes Hannah’s pat tying-up-loose-ends resolution all the more inexplicable. Relying heavily on improbable coincidence and a sense of something fated, the conclusion of Winter Garden was a bit too tidy for my satisfaction.
-Blog Critics

Synopsis

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 a 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.

 

About Kristin Hannah

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Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of many acclaimed novels, including Fly Away, Firefly Lane, Winter Garden, Magic Hour, Comfort & Joy, The Things We Do for Love, Between Sisters, Angel Falls, Waiting for the Moon, When Lightning Strikes, If You Believe, Once in Every Life, The Enchantment, and A Handful of Heaven.
 
Published January 28, 2010 by St. Martin's Press. 401 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, War. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Feb 27 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Winter Garden
All: 11 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Below average
on May 20 2010

Anya’s chronicle of the 900-day siege, during which more than half a million civilians perished from hunger and cold, imparts new gravitas to the novel, easily overwhelming her daughters’ more conventional “issues.” The effect, however, is all but vitiated by a manipulative and contrived ending.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Nov 27 2009

Readers will find it hard not to laugh a little and cry a little more as mother and daughters reach out to each other just in the nick of time.

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Blog Critics

Below average
Reviewed by Christy Corp-Minamiji on Feb 02 2010

The complexity and depth of the “fairy tale” timeline makes Hannah’s pat tying-up-loose-ends resolution all the more inexplicable. Relying heavily on improbable coincidence and a sense of something fated, the conclusion of Winter Garden was a bit too tidy for my satisfaction.

Read Full Review of Winter Garden | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Book Reporter

Above average
Reviewed by Norah Piehl on Jan 24 2011

Although in many ways the situations and characters in WINTER GARDEN are extremes, sisters and daughters of all ages will recognize fundamental truths in Kristin Hannah’s keenly observed portrayal of the Whitson family.

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The Seattle Times

Below average
Reviewed by Melinda Bargreen on Jan 28 2010

The question for Hannah's readers will be whether these late revelations are enough to balance the unsympathetic portrait of a coldhearted woman in the many preceding chapters. For this reader, it doesn't work: Too many real-life people have undergone horrific wartime experiences and still been able to give their own children a hug and a smile.

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Bestsellersworld

Good
Reviewed by Julie Moderson on Feb 09 2010

Kristin Hannah has a wonderful style of writing that I love to read. She is truly a great storyteller.

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BellaOnline

Above average
Reviewed by Jeanette Stingley on Nov 25 2016

Honestly, if the story of Anya wasn’t told the way it was, I probably would not have finished this book because then the core of the story would seem to follow a typical formula that seems to exist for stories about women hitting middle age and looking back on their lives and the mistakes or regrets they have.

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http://skrishnasbooks.com

Good
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Feb 08 2010

Winter Garden was an interesting novel that’s a great read for a cold, snowy day. Though the ending is tied up a little too easily and neatly, it’s the character development and introspection that really makes it worth reading. Fans of women’s fiction novels should definitely consider picking this one up.

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Long and Short Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Camellia on Feb 02 2010

Love that is longsuffering, gentle, patient, good, and faithful makes WINTER GARDEN a story that will be long remembered.

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I'd So Rather Be Reading

Good
Reviewed by Kelli on Apr 20 2015

I loved this book. It was my favorite Kristin Hannah book to date. She never disappoints---I've never read anything of hers that I didn't like.

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https://stilettostorytime.wordpress.com

Good
on Feb 17 2010

Spanning from old world Russia to the magic of modern day Alaska, Winter Garden creates a world of mythical fairy tales, the heartbreaking pain of loss and the truth that love always endures. A wonderful story of life in all it’s glory and horror, Winter Garden is a must read. A story you will not soon forget.

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Reader Rating for Winter Garden
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 2505 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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