winter garden.

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Sometimes when you open the door to your mother’s past,
you find your own future…

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 death bed, their father extract 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 the first page to the last, 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 reader long after the last page is turned.

Can Kristin Hannah write a terrible book – I think not! Another AMAZING read!!! This is the third book I’ve read by her this month… and I can’t wait to pick out another one tomorrow! I honestly could not put this book down. I should have waited a little while after reading Home Front, but I was so excited to read this one as well. I’ve noticed that all three of the books so far, Hannah has made the stories take place in Washington state. (I want to travel there now dang it!!) This book… The middle and definitely the end is where all the action takes place. The beginning talks about the struggles the sisters – Meredith and Nina – faced growing up. They were extremely close to their father, but not at all their mother. Not because they didn’t want to, but because their mother blocked them out. This story, like all of the stories I’ve read by Hannah so far, is told in two points of view; Meredith and Nina.

Meredith: A mother of two girls and a wife to a husband who she is slowly losing. She spends a lot of her time working at her father’s apple business.
Nina: A free spirit photojournalist who is constantly on the move and traveling to new adventures.

Like all of the books so far, I cried hardcore during this one. The story is just so… sad. I really can’t imagine being in any of their shoes. A child who feels like their mother hates them, a mother who just can’t seem to open up to her child, or a father who is stuck in the middle; who loves his children and his wife so incredibly much. It’s truly heartbreaking. Then there’s the story… I will not talk about the story what so ever because I want you to be equally as enthralled as I was! No spoilers!

There was a part in this book that really did stick out to me. When I was a little kid, my grandparents were always apart of my life. I saw them every weekend, and pretty much every day during the summer. I grew up with them. They were closer to me than my parents were some days. I remember going out to the lake where they lived every holiday, and every Sunday night for “family dinner” during the summer. When they died, it’s like it all came to a screeching stop. Everyone in my family kind of went their separate ways. No more Sunday dinners, heck we all haven’t been together for a holiday in who knows how long either. My grandparents were definitely the glue to our family. While reading this book though, there was a part in it that made me realize something, and I love when you “learn with the characters” about life.

“Meredith felt a kind of sadness. It wasn’t what she’d felt before: not disappointment that her kids didn’t call, or fear that Jeff didn’t love her, or even worry that she had lost too much of herself. This new feeling was the realization that she wasn’t young anymore. The days of frolicking with her little girls were gone. Her children were on their own now, and Meredith needed to accept that. They would always be a family, but if she’d learned anything in the past few weeks it was that a family wasn’t a static thing. There were always changes going on. Like with continents, sometimes the changes were invisible and underground, and sometimes they were explosive and deadly. The trick was to keep your balance. You couldn’t control the direction of your family anymore than you could stop the continental shelf from breaking apart. All you could do was hold on for the ride.”

After reading that paragraph, I smiled and started to tear up a little. There were always changes going on. Boy, is that ever true. Things change. Just always have to hold on and continue on.

I STRONGLY recommend this book to EVERYONE! This book is definitely amazing and pulls on the heart strings. It will make you want to hug your family and friends and will make you want to tell everyone you love, that you do in fact love them.


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