Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Book 14/30.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my fourth Kristin Hannah read (after The Nightingale, Firefly Lane and Night Road, in that order) and it is the first of her books that doesn’t get a 5 star rating from me and I’m realllllllyyyyyy feeling some typa way about that.

Similar to The Nightingale, Winter Garden is a historical novel running alongside a contemporary family drama, but the latter was just not as strong as the former and that is the main reason this doesn’t get 5 stars from me. I particularly really struggled with Meredith at the beginning of the book because I could not understand why she was so damn hellbent on making her life so damn difficult. I liked Nina well-enough but did not care much for their mother Anya until she started telling the story of her life in war-torn Leningrad. Her story, which started off as a fairytale, paints a vivid picture of the atrocity of World War II. The fear, starvation and death all around the survivors. The terror of small children being taken by train away from their parents, starving, cold, crying, alone and afraid. It was a deeply moving tale of the siege of Leningrad and I definitely would have given this book 5 stars if it focused more on that, rather than the troubled dynamics of the mother/daughter bond and the relationship between sisters, because I REALLY struggled with Meredith.

That said, I still quite enjoyed this book (the ending in particular was very satisfying for the hopeless romantic that I am) and while I would definitely recommend it, I would advise the reader to be patient with the first half as it gets so much better in the second half.

View all my reviews

** A guide to ratings **
1 star – did not like it
2 stars – it was okay
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was amazing

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