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Winter Garden
     

Winter Garden

4.3 1256
by Kristin Hannah
 

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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

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Winter Garden 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1256 reviews.
GrannnyJude More than 1 year ago
This was my first time reading Kristen Hannah and I was absolutely mesmerized by this story and the way she portrayed the characters. It was a heartwrenching story of a time in history that changed so many lives and gave us a picture of how it changed a family forever. I was not able to put the book down once I started it and was drawn into the intrigue of what the secret of Anya's life was and what had turned her so cold. Kristen Hannah's storytelling in this novel give us a close decription of the connection between families and how love can prevail. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great story and has time to curl up and enjoy this book.
Leah-books More than 1 year ago
Great story with great likeable characters. The winter garden is Kristin Hannah's best book.
retromom More than 1 year ago
Great book about two sisters who grow up thinking their mother hates them. When their father passes they promise him that they will take care of their mother and make her tell them a childhood fairy tale that she has kept to herself for many years. In doing so they learn who their mother is and much about the women they have become. A very heartwarming read. Kleenex necessary! I love Kristin Hannah's stories. They are always touching!
poosie More than 1 year ago
In this beautiful book, the reader is brought into the lives of three women. On the bank of the Columbia River, there is a huge house that gives the reader the feel of a fairytale,that is sitting in an ice-covered apple orchard. Living inside are twelve-year-old girl named Meredith Whitson and her sister, Nina. Meredith wants only one thing in life, just as her sister does, to make their mother show some semblance of love and affection toward them. The only kindness their mother shows them is when she tells them fairy tales in the evening before they go to sleep. Meredith grows up and marries Jeff and they have two children. Meredith works hard at the apple orchard for her beloved father. She is the responsible one, standing by her father's side and taking care of everyone she knows. But she is constantly sad. She's tried very hard to be the best wife and mother, but the solitude she feels in her heart is breaking her marriage apart. Nina becomes a little wild. Her life is spent as a photo-journalist for magazines like The National Geographic. Wherever there is war,or strife, Nina runs to that place and snaps her photos of human atrocities. Nina, unlike her sister, is constantly running from love, from life, throwing herself into harm's way in order to avoid the past. When their father grows old, he begs his two beloved daughters to get to know their mother, to give her a chance. The daughter's make a solemn vow to try and then find themselves back in the house in the apple orchard, coercing their cold-hearted mother into revealing who she really is and why she has hated them all their lives. Anya, their mother, is a woman who spends all her time sitting in her small, cold winter garden, on a frost-covered bench full of icicles. She is suffering from a heartbreaking past that she doesn't know how to talk about. She has blamed herself for years for the life she left behind in Russia when she married their father and moved to the States, finding peace in the arms of the man who loved her. Together, the three women sit and begin to open up about their lives. Kristin Hannah reveals the full story of one of the fairytales Anya had told the girls as children, centering around a peasant and a prince,unveiliing what she holds deep inside her. This is a woman who has lived in a constant state of regret and remorse, unable to share her secrets to her daughters. This is truly captivating and will hold your compete attention until you read the last page!
CHEFFYBEARY More than 1 year ago
I have read every book that Kristin has written. This may be one of the most touching and emotion provoking books that I have recently read. Don't won't be surprised if this one becomes a film. For daughters and mothers without a doubt!
wheeze More than 1 year ago
I have read almost every book Kristin Hannah wrote, and Winter Garden was a disappointment to me. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the historical background work on Anya's life, it was very interesting to see what she went though, and why she was the way she is now. yet the book seem to drag to me, it took about 11 chapters too long to get to the point. The end completely ruined it for me. Way too cheesy!! Reminded me of bad romance novel. Life definately isn't a fairy tale. I also had a hard time figuring out why they had to do to that certain house in Alaska. I had to read that section three times to figure it out. I hope the next book Hannah writes, she goes back to her normal style of writing.
_paige_ More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was a nice escape from everyday life. I learned a lot about what the poor people of Russia really went through during this very difficult time period. The characters were strong and really endured things I can't imagine having to go through. I would recommend this book to everyone! Enjoy~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first time reading Kristin Hannah's books. I fell in love with this book. It is the type of book when you read the last page you wish there is more and not the ending. I cried, laughed, said the "I can't believe it" out loud. I was reading on the plane on a trip and started crying on the plane, but not for sorrow, but happy tears. When you start to read this book, make sure you have time to finish, because you will not want to put it down! I had to a couple times and couldn't wait till I got back to the book. She is so decriptive with her characters. From beginning to end you will be surprised. How does one think of such a story to write will always amaze me, because this story was more than just fiction. This story could have actually happened, which is just one of the reasons it was an excellent book. It actually had me researching my history on Lenningrad during the war. I am definately going to read her other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first time reading a book by Kristin Hannah and i must say i absolutely loved WINRER GARDEN. I was on vacation and decided not to go away. So i picked up WINTER GARDEN @ the supermarket spontaneously and did not put down the book for two days. I may have not went away physically but mentally and emotionally i was lost in WINTER GARDEN.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to say that I think this book was amazing. I have read several of Kristin Hannah's books. I have really enjoyed the last few. Winter Garden is the kind of book that takes you somewhere completely different than you expect. I highly recommend this book for a read that is unique, detailed, touching...the kind of book you just can't put down.
ambrize More than 1 year ago
WOW. I just finished this book in tears. What an amazing story, weaving history and present times with fluidity. I definitely recommend reading Winter Garden.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I learned so much about the unspeakable terror and poverty that the Russians endured . The author shows clearly how this early experience continues to destroy lives, even after they are clearly out of danger. What a creative way to show charecter development, history , and family relationships ! I highly recommend this book .
librarygirlCG More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I've ever read....one of my top five favorites! I picked it up last Saturday and could not put it down. There are two stories within the book....one of the present day, estranged family and one of the mother's trials, tribulations, loves and family as a young girl in war-torn Russia. As the present day family struggles to come together, the telling of the mother's story in Russia brings them all together as a family with a surprise and heart-wrenching ending. You must have the kleenex nearby at the end. The story of the mother's life in Russia is very interesting and heartbreaking at the same time. The 'mother' character is someone I would like to know. This is the first Kristin Hannah book I've read and now I want to read her others. I just hope they are as good.
3MP More than 1 year ago
Kristin Hannah did a great job in telling this story. Taking a real life historical event and turing it in to a story that bleeds joy, heartache and strength. Russia's history has always been a violent one up until recentally, the fact that she could tell bring historical issues to light in such an uplifing book is remarable. The storry of two daughter learning about their mother's past to explain so much about not only her but also themselves. A woman who can endure so much loss in ones life and still have the strength go on is truely inspiring. To loss one child would be hard enough, but to think that you had lost the other one and the love of your life also in a matter of days would be unbareable, and Hannah really showed the pain she went through. Then wrapping the story up with happiness, love and warmth was the best way to end the story. I will be recommending this to all of my friends.
MBFF More than 1 year ago
I finished WINTER GARDEN last night and it was AWESOME!!! We are having our BOOK CLUB over this book tonight and I can't wait to discuss it! I know I will be thinking of the characters in this book often. It was an emotional journey and makes you think of your own life and how fortunate we are to live in the times that we do. It also makes you this of how you would react if you were put in Vera's position.
JUSTINBIEBERLOVER More than 1 year ago
This book is...moving. It is a beautiful story of love and loss, but with a unique twist. It's something I didn't expect, especially from Kristin Hannah whom I have read a few times before. The ending really pulled at my heart strings with Vera and Sasha, but I won't give it away. It's really a story inside of a story, inside of a story. I really do reccomend this book to someone looking for a good read. Be careful though and stick it all the way through, it kind of drags until it really picks up and is a page turner. Well done! IT really is a must-read, especially if you've read Kristin Hannah before, it's much different than her usual style.
terrylazar More than 1 year ago
I wouldn't have read this book if a neighbor hadn't lent it to me. Crime and Mystery usually end up on my shopping list. This is the first book I have read by the author and it certainly won't be the last. I have never cried while reading a book, but this one tugged at the heart strings. I read it in one night, staying up until I was finished. I found both sisters to be self centered in their own way, but due to their childhood, how could they not be? Their mother's story was so heartbreaking. I'm not sure I could have survived the loss of 2 children, a husband, then go on in the harsh life she was handed. A very powerful and heartwrenching story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Winter Garden is a slow moving book, that at it's heart is about a misunderstood 'cold' mother, and two daughters who are sorely missing their father. The father was the one who had made the family work, and when he dies, it seems there is little left. Predictably, there is more to the story, and when all is uncovered, the story really is amazing. All the characters were pretty well developed and I enjoyed their progression. The only character who left me confused was the 'loving' father who somehow left all these connections undone. How could he have loved everyone so long and so much but never have done anything other than let it sit. That seemed suspect to me. I recommend this for a rainy day.
mytwocents310 More than 1 year ago
In July of 2008 I read my first Kristin Hannah Book. - "Firefly Lane". I absolutely loved it and was hooked on Hannah from that day forward. I have since read twelve of her books and couldn't believe that she would find a way to top "Firefly". "Mystic Lake" ranked second for me and "True Colors", a fast third, but I have to say "Winter Garden was not only the best Kristin Hannah, but one of the best books to come along in a a long time. It was slow initially but once it took off, I was mesmerized by Anya's fairy tale. The book within the book. I can hardly wait to read another one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVED THIS BOOK! It was a beautiful story, I could not put it down. The characters, the setting, the romance, the sorrow, all put together so well. I would highly recommend this to all.
Anonymous 4 months ago
I wasn't sure when I started reading, but found out quickly that I couldn't put it down. The whole story is a journey of understanding, grief, love, and coping. One of the best books I've ever read, and I've read thousands. What a great writer!! It doesn't feel like fiction at all. My tissue box is empty but I am full of enrichment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just another amazing kristin hannah book. She manages to make me cry every time. Highly reccomend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love how she captures the pain and heartaches of motherhood then takes it to a whole other level. I was totally shock at the end.
Laura Corrigan More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book - beginning to end. I have recommended it numerous times. This story made me laugh and cry; popped into my thoughts for days after it was finished; opened my eyes to historical events that I had not given much thought to. I have read hundreds of books - but this one has stayed with me.... Beautifully written.