Winter Garden - what a wonderful surprise.
Southern California lawyer turned author Kristin Hannah has written over 20 books in the last two decades. She started with historical romance in the early 1990s and graduated to contemporary romance with the publication of Home Again in 1996. As her career progressed she has moved on to more complex character-driven novels.
Our library picked Winter Garden as the January selection for our 12 Months 12 Books Challenge. It seemed an easy pick for our Thursdays With Maureen book club since readers were returning the book with glowing reviews.
Winter Garden has turned out to be one of our favorite books in the five years of our club. When asked who her favorite character is from all her books Kristin Hannah responded with Anya Whitson, the subject of Winter Garden.
The book introduces us to two adult sisters as their father is dying. Their relationship with their mother is strained and without their father to smooth the way things deteriorate rapidly. Admittedly, setting the scene in the first half of the book starts to drag. But this is one of those books where the less said the better. Just know that as the mother starts to tell her daughters a "fairy tale" that her dying husband made her promise to do, the book becomes impossible to put down.
The period the fairy tale evokes is so beautifully and hauntingly told that it will stay with the reader. Anya Whitson will indeed become one of your favorite characters.