Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

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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 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:
Peak Rank on Feb 27 2011
Weeks as Bestseller

Unrated Critic Reviews for Winter Garden

Kirkus Reviews

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A Russian refugee's terrible secret overshadows her family life.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Winter Garden

Publishers Weekly

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Female bonding is always good for a good cry, as Hannah (True Colors ) proves in her latest. Pacific Northwest apple country provides a beautiful, chilly setting

Oct 05 2009 | Read Full Review of Winter Garden

BC Books

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It would be easy to dismiss Kristin Hannah’s Winter Garden as book club fiction, a done-to...Saved from book-club fiction predictability by an intricate weaving of timelines, Kristin Hannah's Winter Garden is an emotionally compelling read.

Feb 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Winter Garden

BC Books

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In the wake of the loss of the man who bound them together with his love, Anya, Meredith, and Nina struggle toward a new definition of family.

Feb 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Winter Garden

Book Reporter

But when Nina finds herself drawn back to the family’s farm, she encourages her mother to tell her stories --- from start to finish --- and tries her best to draw a reluctant Meredith into the story as well.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of Winter Garden

RT Book Reviews

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Gather Books

... Especially when it comes to wonderful books that deserve to be spoken. ... Winter
Garden by Kristin Hannah - a book review ... review: The Lady Elizabeth, by
Alison Weir · Book Review: The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat.

May 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Winter Garden


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 regr...

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I loved Firefly Lane and have been reading her books since.

Feb 08 2010 | Read Full Review of Winter Garden

Long and Short Reviews

While Meredith and Nina felt Anya did not love them, they did not know her life story because all she had ever told them had been couched in what they believed to be a fairy tale.

Feb 02 2010 | Read Full Review of Winter Garden

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