A haunting and remarkable novel, Winter Eyes is a tale of family secrets, silence, relevation-and the hope for healing and change. A spell-binding achievement, Winter Eyes richly fulfills the promise Booklist saw when it hailed Dancing on Tisha B'av as the debut of "a bright new talent in American fiction."
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Winter Eyes tells the Story of Stefan, from a young child through to the age of eighteen. He was born not long after WWII, an only child, his parents Polish émigrés. His father a college professor, harsh and distant, and his mother discontent as a housewife, it is his uncle he warms to, initially through learning to play the piano, his uncle being a music teacher. But all the while he is troubled by the lack of knowledge of his family¿s past; it is something not to be discussed.His parent¿s marriage is not a happy one, and is doomed to fail, and Stefan has to cope with their break up through the age of eight to eleven. An intelligent boy, he has difficulty coming to terms with the break up, and becomes quite and introverted. When the slightly older good looking son of his Italian neighbours befriends him he becomes absorbed by their friendship, especially when their amicable wrestling leads to something much more intimate. This relationship puzzles him when later starts he dating girls.When Stefan eventually discovers the terrible secret of his family¿s history it has a devastating effect on him, making Stefan¿s already difficult youth almost unbearable. His insular nature combined with the family taboo on open discussion makes it impossible for him to unburden his problems, and he has to cope the only way he knows how, drawing ever tighten within himself.Winter Eyes is a most engaging story, well written it grows in maturity in pace with Stefan; while told in the third person, the opening chapters truly see the world through a child¿s eyes. One is immediately drawn to Stefan and when he reaches the point of despair one¿s heart goes out to him; but it is ultimately a heart-warming and rewarding story with a neat twist at the end.