Thursday, May 6, 2010

BookLook Review "Winter Garden"

“Winter Garden”
Stories about mothers and daughters are complicated. In reality and fiction there is something different in their relationship compared to their male counterparts in the family. It seems more complicated, more intense, and more emotional. In the novel “Winter Garden” by Kristin Hannah the mother-daughter story has all these elements and a mystery from the past to keep the reader turning the pages.

Two very different sisters unite after the sudden death of their beloved father. Confronted with his deathbed wish that they learn to love their cold and distant mother, Nina and Meredith try to honor his request. The married oldest sister Meredith manages the family orchard business and fills her days with frantic “Martha” tasks. She cooks and cleans like a maniac to prevent her grief and other emotions from overwhelming her. Nina on the other hand has spent her years away from home as a famous photojournalist with an incurable wanderlust. The two sisters have grown apart over the years although they were once very close and loving.

The winter garden is a special place behind their family home where their mother Anya sits and stares out at the bare trees and snow covered ground. Anya came from Russia but refused to share anything with her daughters about her past. She told them a beautiful fairytale without an ending when they were young but now the girls suspect it was more than just a fictional bedtime story. As Anya is convinced to finish telling the fairytale, her daughters begin to understand why she closed her heart to them.

It is a story about a mother and her daughters. It is a story about forgiveness, and the complicated feelings within every family relationship and especially between mothers and daughters. It is a wonderful Mother’s Day gift for any mother who enjoys a good book.

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