Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

From the author of the smash-hit bestseller Firefly Lane and True Colors comes a powerful, heartbreaking novel that illuminates the intricate mother-daughter bond and explores the enduring links between the present and the past.

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard: the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time – and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, 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.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah is a great mix of contemporary and historical fiction. Well written and very interesting to me. I enjoyed the fairy tale style that was used to tell the mother’s story. Lots of emotion in this book. A great family drama with great characters who ultimately learn to overcome the obstacles life threw at them.

It did wrap up a little too quickly and a little too neatly but overall a good book.

Content: This is an adult book. Quite a bit of language throughout including about a half dozen uses of the F word. Also there is some sexual content between 2 unmarried individuals. Most of it is not graphic but it was a little more than I like to read in a book.

Rating: 4 solid 4 star book.