Paperback, 436 Pages
Adult/ Historical Fiction
By: Kristin Hannah
“And maybe that was how it was supposed to be…Joy and sadness were part of the package; the trick, perhaps,was to let yourself feel all of it, but to hold on to the joy just a little more tightly…”
I experienced Hannah’s writing slightly more than a year ago when I read The Nightingale and I liked it very much! My friend Leslie then recommended this one as her favorite by the author and I did not think twice and got a copy of the book! Leslie was right because this was hauntingly beautiful!
I am not the biggest fan of historical fictions but this is also a family drama and I love those. Call me a masochist but I like reading about families going through tragedies for two reasons: It is realistic as opposed to what we see on social media where everyone is living their happily ever after and because those books are a journey of how to overcome those hardships and become stronger and Winter Garden was exactly that. The story follows Meredith and Nina Whitson, two opposite sisters and not only in characters but also in the choices they made in their lives. They have a cold mother who they don’t understand and a father who is on his deathbed and he wants to save his family through the mother’s fairy tales which was one of the reasons that traumatized them.
I immediately connected to both sisters and although I related more to Meredith, I also liked Nina and I loved that the author showed both their good and bad sides. The mother was so distant and cold but the whole point of the story is to get to know the mother and understand everything she went through.
The plot follows the sisters story in the modern world and a fairy tale taking place decades ago in the early to mid 1900s. The good thing is that it was not heavy on the historical part and we get to discover more of this side after page 160 only.
The writing is lyrical and great, Hannah knows what she is doing and you can tell that she is a talented author from her prose and the way she writes. The story has a poignant tone and I read it when it was raining outside and almost freezing which was a very good choice in my opinion because this is not a summer beach read!
“I would not love him again. Not if I had known how it would feel to live with a broken heart.”
Summary: As expected from Hannah, this was a sad but beautiful story about families, wars, about surviving and about the purest form of love! I loved the writing and the characters. The last pages were excellent and I knew it was coming but still was very happy by the ending! I recommend this for all the fans of historical fictions!