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Winter Garden: A Novel

Winter Garden: A Novel

Scritto da Kristin Hannah

Narrato da Susan Ericksen


Winter Garden: A Novel

Scritto da Kristin Hannah

Narrato da Susan Ericksen

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (714 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
14 ore
Pubblicato:
Feb 2, 2010
ISBN:
9781423325239
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family business; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, these two estranged sisters will find themselves together again, standing alongside their disapproving mother, Anya, who even now offers no comfort to her daughters. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise: Anya will tell her daughters a story; it is one she began years ago and never finished. This time she will tell it all the way to the end.

The tale their mother tells them is unlike anything they've heard before-a captivating, mysterious love story that spans more than sixty years and moves from frozen, war-torn Leningrad to modern-day Alaska. Nina's obsession to uncover the truth will send them all on an unexpected journey into their mother's past, where they will discover a secret so shocking, it shakes the foundation of their family and changes who they believe they are.

Mesmerizing from beginning to end, Winter Garden is that rarest of novels-at once an epic love story and an intimate portrait of women poised at the crossroads of their lives. Evocative, lyrically written, and ultimately uplifting, it will haunt the listener long after the last word is spoken.

Pubblicato:
Feb 2, 2010
ISBN:
9781423325239
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Kristin Hannah is a New York Times bestselling author. She is a former lawyer turned writer and is the mother of one son. She and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle, and Hawaii. Her first novel published in the UK, Night Road, was one of eight books selected for the UK's 2011 TV Book Club Summer Read. Her New York Times bestselling novel The Nightingale, has been published in over thirty-nine languages.

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4.5
714 valutazioni / 148 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    "Winter Garden" was a lovely mix of historical and contemporary fiction. The book started a little slowly, but once Anya started narrating her 'fairytale,' which was set in Russia, I was captivated. I enjoyed how the book moved from one time period to another, although the parts set during the Leningrad Siege were, in my opinion, far more compelling and heart-wrenching. This was a book that brought me to tears. It was an emotional journey showing the strength of human character during times of extreme adversity, and the power of love between family members. Loved it!
  • (4/5)
    Alternating between the past and present, sisters, 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.

    This is a good audio book because the mother speaks in a haunting Russian dialect.
  • (3/5)
    I really struggled to get through the first half of this novel, but the second half picked up the pace and practically became a page turner. Family secrets relating back to WWII and the Siege of Leningrad dominate this novel, but it takes a while before the characters realize the need to uncover their own past. I enjoyed this book overall, but I wish it hadn't started so slowly.
  • (5/5)
    A story inside a story which takes you to a magical place during a very dark time. But what is behind the story and will the family ever heal completely? A story of loss and redemption in the way that only Kristin Hannah can write it. This is a marvelous story and one I highly recommend!
  • (5/5)
    Read this as a Buddy Read on Litsy and enjoyed it very much! It is a powerful story of misunderstanding and family love between 2 daughters and their mother. There are a lot of historical reference to Russia during the war. Anya has told her daughters, Meredith and Nina, a fairytale which turns into a reality by the end of the book. It is a tearjerker that you won't be able to forget and one you should not miss!
  • (4/5)
    Meredith and her sister Nina grow up with a very involved and loving father and a distant, mysterious mother. They react to this upbringing in different ways. Nina, a photojournalist, flits around the world, never forming attachments or setting down roots. Meredith is extra-rooted, in the family business, devoted to her father and a very dedicated and nurturing mother to her two children. When their father, Evan, dies, his last wish is for their mother, Anya, to tell the girls a story. Anya's story is of a young girl growing up in Stalinist Leningrad, and it is harrowing. When Nina and Meredith finally realize what it has to do with their family, the hope (and the point of the book) is to explain why Anya was such a cold and distant mother. Unfortunately, while it's all very fascinating, I find it a little implausible. Why would Evan stay with Anya and watch her parenting style without intervening or even explaining until after his death? I also don't find the result of Anya's tale explanatory of her behavior, but I guess everyone reacts differently to different situations. That being said, however, I really couldn't put it down. I just had to get to the end and find out the answers and have the mystery revealed and all that, even though I'd guessed the 'twist' about halfway through. This is actually the second book I've read by Hannah, and I found that one just as baffling but also compelling as this one. Odd.
  • (5/5)
    Another great read from Kristin Hannah. Could not put this book down. 5 plus star rating.
  • (5/5)
    Meredith and Nina are as different as two sisters can be. Meredith stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family's orchard business, while Nina followed her dream of traveling the world and becoming a photojournalist. When their father falls ill, they find themselves together again, along with their cold, disapproving mother Anya. The one connection the daughters had with their mother was the Russian fairly tale she told them sometimes at night. On his deathbed, their father makes Anya promise to tell the tale one more time, all the way to the end.The fairy tale turns out to be the true of Anya's life in Leningrad from World War II, and the sisters finally learn the terrible and terrifying secrets their mother has been hiding all these years.The first half of this book feels like it drags in spots, but if you stick with it, it's worth it; the second half of the story is very gripping and emotional, and a real page-turner. I have read a lot of historical fiction taking place during World War II, in various parts of the world, but this is the first time I've read something set in Russia, and how the war affected its ordinary citizens, and the terrible hardships they had to endure. It's also a well written story about mother-daughter relationships, which I believe, among all the relationships you can have, is often one of the most complicated ones.
  • (4/5)
    It's not that the story wasn't good---I read The Nightingale before this---but somehow, the CD for this just seemed so incredibly LONG. If perhaps I could have speeded up the reading to make it half as long ?? but my CD system isn't set up for that so I felt as though I was just WAITING for things to move along to some sort of conclusion, which of course Hannah had waiting. I found all of the characters somewhat overly dramatically portrayed---lurching from one extreme to the next in their lives. That seems harsh but it was a little on the exhausting side to listen to.
  • (4/5)
    Slow start, but then fascinating.
  • (4/5)
    Although predictable, a great diary history of the one woman's experience in Leningrad under siege by the German's. Told in mostly in fairy-tales.
  • (5/5)
    I love all of her books but this one by far kept me on the edge of my seat and I had to keep reading to find out what happened this woman during the siege of Leningrad during WW II. Exciting, interesting, sad, and a wonderful study of a cold mother and her daughters.
  • (4/5)
    Beautiful!
  • (4/5)
    rabck from love2cook; disappointing. Book was good, but could have been better. Mom lived through the siege on Leningrad during WWII, a location that I didn't know about. She's always been cold to her two daughters, who struggle with relationship problems of their own. Mom finally tells them the story of her time in Leningrad through a series of fairy tales. Ending was way too trite - author could have done better by leaving some loose ends.
  • (4/5)
    I give this book a 4 and 1/2 if i could. Great characters, interesting plot, moves along nicely. Two sisters dealing with the sudden death of their beloved father must now keep a promise to him of caring for their cold-hearted mother whom they feel has never really loved them. The only positive interaction they have had with her is when she told them fairy tales as children. Through her telling of her fairy tales all these years later, a truth about their mother and ultimately themselves is revealed and will change the course of all their lives.
  • (2/5)
    Nina are Meredith have always been daddy's girls. Their Russian mother Anya is distant and unloving. Anya doesn't speak to her daughters often despite living in the same house except for the Russian fairy tales she loves to tell . Are the fairy tales just a story or a part of Anya's history?Nina is a world renowned photographer that is constantly traveling and nearing forty still has commitment issues. Meredith has chose to lead a completely different lifestyle becoming a stay at home mother and hoping to run Belye Nochi- The familys orchard. The sisters very rarely speak to each other and when they do their relationship is strained. When their beloved father has a heart attack he makes Anya promise to tell the girls the whole story so they can learn more about their mother and their family history.
  • (5/5)
    Loved this story. A heart wrenching experience, changes a woman's life, and ripples to her children as well. If you enjoy a story about surviving emotional strife, and how people reach out to each other, then this story will touch you too.
  • (3/5)
    3.5, really.... I did not necessarily enjoy the writing, but I did enjoy the story itself... The ending was a bit too fairy-tale and depressed me...
  • (5/5)
    Oh what an awesome read. What a way to come out of the business and out of a reading slump. This book had me laughing, crying and loving every character in it. What a story that could end up being a real life story had me hanging on every single word and ignoring my surroundings.. I almost hated for it to end.Meredith Whitson - Wife, Mother, Caretaker of all. Loved her father so much she put her ideas, wants and needs to be there for him and take over the family business even though that is not what she really wanted. It almost ended her marriage.Nina Whitson - Single sort of dating one man consitently, free spirited sister of Meredith. Journalistic photographer traveled all over the world kind of running away from her family.Evan Whitson- Loving father of Meredith & Nina and husband to Anya. Held the family together like glue. Doted on his daughters and wife while taking care of his own business.Anya Whitson - Wife of Evan / Mother of Merdith & Nina. Loved her husband so much and rarely showed any side of herself to her daughters keeping a wall around her until very late in her life.The story of these people is a very intersting tale and brings so many things together. Evan very sick makes Anya promise to tell her fairy tales all the way through to their daughter's after he passess on. Anya fought this at first but Nina being very persisitent ends up convincing Anya to tell it anyway. Her story brings so many things to light for this family even though it has dwindled by one (Evan) and why she was the way she was and how people can change even when they are older. The pricelessness of time spent with family and getting to know one another. What an amazing tale.
  • (4/5)
    I almost felt like this was two different books, although most people obviously liked it a bit better than I did. The first part seemed kind of disjointed and almost unbelievable to me. It was also very depressing, but perhaps this is because I am the sole caregiver of an elderly parent. I found it too much to believe that the two sisters in book could be so totally ignorant of their mother's story and of the history and geography of Leningrad/St. Petersburg, Russia. Things I take for granted, came as big surprises to these two. However, once the mom started telling her story in the latter half of the book, the story really took off. If you just read the italicized parts of the story, you are in for a great read. The whole thing is a little draggy. Overall, it's worthwhile, however. The ending surprised me, and was pretty well-done.
  • (5/5)
    My favorite of the Kristin Hannah books I've read.
  • (5/5)
    Book haunts me to this day. I keep thinking about my little ones and what I would do as a mother if faced with war. I couldn't put this one down.
  • (4/5)
    I'm a sucker for stories about the Russian Revolution and the subsequent years, so it's no surprise that I love this book. Hannah creates some truly moving characters in this novel - none perfect, but all human.
  • (5/5)
    An emotionally gripping, heart tugging and powerful story with multiple relationships about love and the choices we make. I cried a few times throughout. Meredith and Nina. at their fathers death bed. promise to listen to their estranged mothers 'fairy tale' about war-torn Leningrad under Stalin's rule.
  • (4/5)
    Kristin Hannah's books have been recommended to me by a lot of friends, and I love the cover arts! (Who said we can't judge a book by a cover?) Unfortunately, I read The Night Road as my first book, and did not enjoy it as much as I enjoyed works by other similar authors, namely, Picoult and Chamberlain.

    However, at the persuasion of more friends, I decided to give her another chance, so I chose Winter Garden as my fluff read at the end of last year to balance the stress. I was so wrong.

    The story was about two sisters, who were never loved by their Mom growing up, so each was sad and broken in her own way, yet managed to lead a quite normal and successful life as an adult. When their Dad died, they returned home, and insisted to find the answer for their Mom's sadness and alienation.

    I had tears streaming down my face when I tapped the last page on my Kindle, sitting at a Barnes and Noble cafe table, with people staring at me and murmuring to each other. I was wrong. This was definitely not a fluff read and indeed something with substance. It shows us the extreme of loss and grief; the pain that comes with loss when we love too much. We protect ourselves from the same pain happening to us again...by not loving.

    The story also taught me a bit of history of Leningrad during WWII, although, as a Chinese with extent knowledge of communism and the Cultural Revolution, nothing surprised me under the sun. However, the story still filled me with extreme sadness, regardless of the perfect ending. So, I was wrong again by judging an author with one book. My next read will be Firefly Lane...which most of my friends loved. There's nothing I love more than stories of women friendship!
  • (3/5)
    3.5, really.... I did not necessarily enjoy the writing, but I did enjoy the story itself... The ending was a bit too fairy-tale and depressed me...
  • (5/5)
    Amazon preorder,

    Keep Kleenex nearby. Wonderful book. After the death of their father, two adult daughters gradually learn about why their mother (a Russian woman who married their father just after WW2) was as distant as isolated as she sometimes was.

    Lots of good mother daughter dynamics and stuff about aging too.
  • (5/5)
    Oh what an awesome read. What a way to come out of the business and out of a reading slump. This book had me laughing, crying and loving every character in it. What a story that could end up being a real life story had me hanging on every single word and ignoring my surroundings.. I almost hated for it to end.Meredith Whitson - Wife, Mother, Caretaker of all. Loved her father so much she put her ideas, wants and needs to be there for him and take over the family business even though that is not what she really wanted. It almost ended her marriage.Nina Whitson - Single sort of dating one man consitently, free spirited sister of Meredith. Journalistic photographer traveled all over the world kind of running away from her family.Evan Whitson- Loving father of Meredith & Nina and husband to Anya. Held the family together like glue. Doted on his daughters and wife while taking care of his own business.Anya Whitson - Wife of Evan / Mother of Merdith & Nina. Loved her husband so much and rarely showed any side of herself to her daughters keeping a wall around her until very late in her life.The story of these people is a very intersting tale and brings so many things together. Evan very sick makes Anya promise to tell her fairy tales all the way through to their daughter's after he passess on. Anya fought this at first but Nina being very persisitent ends up convincing Anya to tell it anyway. Her story brings so many things to light for this family even though it has dwindled by one (Evan) and why she was the way she was and how people can change even when they are older. The pricelessness of time spent with family and getting to know one another. What an amazing tale.
  • (3/5)
    Easy to turn the pages, well composed and written but a totally unreal story. I had one of those "oh come on" moments of disbelief at the end. Finding the long thought dead daughter just made me laugh after all the pain and angst as the story wound down.
  • (4/5)
    I almost felt like this was two different books, although most people obviously liked it a bit better than I did. The first part seemed kind of disjointed and almost unbelievable to me. It was also very depressing, but perhaps this is because I am the sole caregiver of an elderly parent. I found it too much to believe that the two sisters in book could be so totally ignorant of their mother's story and of the history and geography of Leningrad/St. Petersburg, Russia. Things I take for granted, came as big surprises to these two. However, once the mom started telling her story in the latter half of the book, the story really took off. If you just read the italicized parts of the story, you are in for a great read. The whole thing is a little draggy. Overall, it's worthwhile, however. The ending surprised me, and was pretty well-done.