I picked up my third Kristin Hannah book, Winter Garden, last week.
Anya loves her husband and her children love their father, but never are able to please their mom. Their home, Belye Noche, in upstate New York looks like a Russian Winter Palace when it snows in winter, and Anya, an ice queen who spins out the most enchanting Russian fairy tales with her ethereal voice.
The girls, Meredith and Nina, grow up to be different people, all the more distant from their loving father and home, and each other. Suddenly, one night, the father suffers a massive stroke and makes a wish that his girls will try to get to know their mother, no matter how cold and distant she might be. No one knows if he will live, or if Anya will ever reveal to her girls the woman hardened by the seize of Leningrad.
The author does what she does the best, writing about women in war, turmoil and difficult times. However this one was different – a reality morphed into a Russian fairy tale, which surfaces after so long, almost half a century, which is the only thing that disappoints me.
The book has its highs and lows and I had a fair share of tearful moments, irrespective of the intentional hurt caused by her characters. This one also has a sweet twist in the end, so you can keep reading if you decide you to DNF it.
Love to analyse the title of her books – Here Winter Garden refers to the garden the family had in Belye Noche, where Anya would spend countless hours everytime she was sad, looking at the vast stretch of snow from their apple orchard. Also a metaphor for the garden in America, that Vera grew, after she left her Summer Garden across the Atlantic.
Rating : 4/5