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The Resource Winter garden, Kristin Hannah

Winter garden, Kristin Hannah

Label
Winter garden
Title
Winter garden
Statement of responsibility
Kristin Hannah
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
The dying wish of a loving father ignites a family drama that brings two sisters and their acid-tongued, Russian-born mother together in a story that reaches back to WWII Leningrad
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Award
Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, 2010.
Review
  • The Whitson family is rocked by the sudden death of patriarch Evan, a warm, loving man who doted on his two adult daughters, Meredith and Nina, and his reserved Russian wife, Anya. Meredith, who runs the family business, and Nina, a photojournalist whose job takes her to war zones around the world, have never been able to connect with their cold, forbidding mother. When Anya begins to act strangely, Meredith thinks she belongs in a nursing home, but Nina decides to try to fulfill her father’s dying wish and get her mother to tell her and Meredith the elaborate fairy tales she used to share with them. Anya is initially reluctant, but once she begins, Nina realizes these tales are actually the story of Anya’s life in Stalinist Leningrad. Meredith and Nina decide to attempt to uncover the truth about their mother’s tragic past in the hope of understanding her, and themselves. Though the novel starts off fairly maudlin, it evolves into a gripping read, although it’s a tearjerker. Hannah’s previous books, including Firefly Lane (2008) and True Colors (2009), are tailor-made for book clubs, and her audience should find plenty to discuss in this equally enthralling entry. -- Huntley, Kristine (Reviewed 11-01-2009) (Booklist, vol 106, number 5, p6)
  • 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 for this family drama ignited by the death of a loving father whose two daughters have grown apart from each other and from their acid-tongued, Russian-born mother. After assuming responsibility for the family business, 40-year-old empty-nester Meredith finds it difficult to carry out her father’s dying wish that she take care of her mother; Meredith’s troubled marriage, her troubled relationship with her mother and her mother’s increasingly troubled mind get in the way. Nina, Meredith’s younger sister, takes a break from her globe-trotting photojournalism career to return home to do her share for their mother. How these three women find each other and themselves with the help of vodka and a trip to Alaska competes for emotional attention with the story within a story of WWII Leningrad. 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. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed October 5, 2009) (Publishers Weekly, vol 256, issue 40, p31)
  • Middle-aged sisters Meredith and Nina have always felt distanced from their Russian-born mother, Anya. But when their beloved father dies, he leaves them with a wish—for them to become closer to their mother and for Anya to reveal the truth about her past. Meredith's and Nina's troubled relationship with their mother is mirrored in their relationships with men. Meredith has grown apart from Jeff, her childhood sweetheart and longtime husband. And Nina travels the world as a freelance photographer, meeting up occasionally with lover Danny. Things have to fall apart before they get better, so after Jeff leaves Meredith and Nina's work begins to suffer, the sisters spend more time with Anya, who finally reveals more of the fairy tale she had told her daughters in their childhood. It doesn't take long for Meredith and Nina to figure out that this is really the true story of their mother's life in Leningrad during World War II. VERDICT This tearjerker weaves a convincing historical novel and contemporary family drama with elements of romance. It is sure to please fans of Danielle Steel, Luanne Rice, and Nicholas Sparks. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/09; 400,000-copy first printing; library marketing campaign.]—Karen Core, Detroit P.L. --Karen Core (Reviewed November 1, 2009) (Library Journal, vol 134, issue 18, p56)
  • A Russian refugee's terrible secret overshadows her family life.Meredith, heir apparent to her family's thriving Washington State apple enterprises, and Nina, a globetrotting photojournalist, grew up feeling marginalized by their mother. Anya saw her daughters as merely incidental to her grateful love for their father Evan, who rescued her from a German prison camp. The girls know neither their mother's true age, nor the answers to several other mysteries: her color-blindness, her habit of hoarding food despite the family's prosperity and the significance of her "winter garden" with its odd Cyrillic-inscribed columns. The only thawing in Anya's mien occurs when she relates a fairy tale about a peasant girl who meets a prince and their struggles to live happily ever after during the reign of a tyrannical Black Knight. After Evan dies, the family comes unraveled: Anya shows signs of dementia; Nina and Meredith feud over whether to move Mom from her beloved dacha-style home, named Belye Nochi after the summer "white nights" of her native Leningrad (St. Petersburg). Anya, now elderly but of preternaturally youthful appearance—her white hair has been that way as long as the girls can remember—keeps babbling about leather belts boiled for soup, furniture broken up for firewood and other oddities. Prompted by her daughters' snooping and a few vodka-driven dinners, she grudgingly divulges her story. She is not Anya, but Vera, sole survivor of a Russian family; her father, grandmother, mother, sister, husband and two children were all lost either to Stalin's terror or during the German army's siege of Leningrad. 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.Bestselling Hannah (True Colors, 2009, etc.) sabotages a worthy effort with an overly neat resolution. (Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2009)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
334684
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Hannah, Kristin
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3558.A4763
LC item number
W56 2010
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Mothers and daughters
  • Russian Americans
Target audience
adult
Label
Winter garden, Kristin Hannah
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
394 pages
Isbn
9780312663155
Lccn
2009039230
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Note
Imprint varies.
System control number
  • 428027173
  • (OCoLC)428027173
Label
Winter garden, Kristin Hannah
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
394 pages
Isbn
9780312663155
Lccn
2009039230
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Note
Imprint varies.
System control number
  • 428027173
  • (OCoLC)428027173

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
    • Williamsburg LibraryBorrow it
      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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