When I first picked up Winter Garden (which was actually a gift from my husband, deemed by the nice cashier at the Chapters he bought it at as 'SomethWhen I first picked up Winter Garden (which was actually a gift from my husband, deemed by the nice cashier at the Chapters he bought it at as 'Something that will make your wife cry') I was skeptical. Normally, I enjoy my over-sized paper backs as much as the next person, but something about the premise smacked of cliche, to me. Two adult sisters with Mother issues, trying to lead their lives without thinking about it; I figured I knew the ending right off the bat. Most of these books are all the same, right? I was very wrong. Kristin Hannah managed to weave a tale within a tale, effortlessly bringing to light two separate lifestyles, and three separate women, and the lives they lead. It explained in haunting and beautiful description about love, loss, and determination. How hard it is to let go, and how hard it is to come back after losing everything. The story didn't drag, it had enough twists to be interesting, and the characters were well formed. By the end of the book, I realized that I could relate to the main characters, but I could also sympathize with the ones in the background, who weren't overshadowed by Kirstin's intense and descriptive style. At times lugubrious, the entire story dips and weaves and eventually comes to a resolute and satisfying ending; my only regret was that I was correct on how it finishes when I made my assumption of the book. Overall, save for the obvious ending, this was a fabulous read which I would recommend to anybody willing....more
Since I bought this the first month it came out, I have read it multiple times, and I am likely to read it again. Ami McKay paints a picture of a timeSince I bought this the first month it came out, I have read it multiple times, and I am likely to read it again. Ami McKay paints a picture of a time when midwives were the most called upon form of doctor, not just for childbirth, but for all of the other everyday medical practices that we now go to a doctor for, but also for relationships, taboos, domestic violence and smaller, but no less interesting things such as food choices, and religious beliefs. She leads us through the life of the first girl born to a family of mainly men in a very long time, and takes us from her being a young girl to her being a married woman and beyond.
Before you discount the book, and what is in it, you must remember that Ami McKay is writing from a different perspective, a different time era. She masterfully created characters that you can remember well after the last time you opened the book, from the neurotic aunt, to the loving mother, to the doctor who nobody likes (after a spell). She has used authentic props, authentic settings, and a wide variety of emotions throughout the novel, which are tangible from the first page to the very end, where, if you're keeping an open mind and not considering it a women's lib book, you wish it wasn't ending. You root for more than just the main character, you can revel in folklore and the idea that once upon a time, life was actually like this, and in retrospect, no matter how hard it seemed then, it would be fairly idyllic now - Ami McKay paints a lush period piece filled with description, design and emotion while keeping all of her characters witty, intelligent and believable.
I would recommend this to absolutely anybody I know....more