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The Winter Children

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  692 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews

Behind a selfless act of kindness lies dark intentions . . .

Olivia and Dan Felbeck are blissfully happy when their longed-for twins arrive after years of IVF. At the same time, they make the move to Renniston Hall, a huge, Elizabethan house that belongs to absent friends. Living rent-free in a small part of the unmodernised house, once a boarding school, they can begin

Kindle Edition, 481 pages
Published December 3rd 2015 by Pan (first published December 1st 2015)
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Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars from me for this compelling and atmospheric novel, perfect for sitting in front of a window watching the dark nights draw in. It really made me feel apprehensive throughout, there just seemed to be a sense of building tension, a foreboding, without being able to pinpoint exactly what it was that gave me that feeling, so clearly very well written!

I'm not writing a synopsis on this one as I think that mystery and suspense - going in blind and uncovering it page by page, is the best way t
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een mooi verhaal, het leest als een roman, zeker in het begin, maar dan wordt er toch langzaam aan een hele subtiele spanningsboog ingebouwd. Een bijzonder verhaal, een beetje van het verleden, en samen gebracht is het heden. Ja, zeker een aanrader.
Alaina Meserole
The Winter Children by Lulu Taylor was pretty interesting. However, it did get boring in some parts or at least it seemed to move along at a snail's pace.

WARNING: lots and lots of spoilers below. Don't read them unless you wont ever read this book. Or if you have already read it.

(view spoiler)
Tracy Shephard
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Winter Children is quite a tale...

Atmospheric with mystery, tension and sadness.

Olivia and Dan unable to have children decide to use donor eggs in order to conceive. Bea and Stan are the blessed children born in Winter that fill Olivia's life with contentment and happiness.

Dan's old friend from University, Francesca, has been part of his life for many years and they share a close bond. When 'Cheska's' husband Walt buys an old stately home, she enables Dan and Olivia to stay in the old cottag
Jan 08, 2016 rated it liked it
The blurb doesn’t do this book justice and I don’t want to explain more as I want other readers to discover what I did and be as surprised as I was. The story blends with the one where the house is a school and the history is built up to reveal the mixed secrets at the end.
An old Elizabethan hall in Norfolk holds secrets from past and present

The present day story told through the eyes of the three friends – Dan Francesca in particular, and the ripples from their Cambridge past come into play as
catje vdw
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
als je aan dit boek begint wil je gewoon doorlezen tot op het einde, omdat je wilt weten hoe alles in elkaar steekt, een aanrader.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am really loving Lulu Taylor. I got into her work last year and this is her latest book. The story evolves around Olivia and Dan who want children but IVF has not worked, Dan's friend Francesca suggests a way that Dan likes the idea of. Keeping the secret from Olivia at last they become parents.
Francesca and her husband buy Renniston Hall an old girls school and they begin to renovate allowing Dan and Olivia to be caretakers, the back story is one about when the house was a school. This and t
Jeanine Feunekes-Both
Dan en zijn vrouw Olivia hebben een grote kinderwens, maar het lukt niet om zwanger te worden. Het stel heeft inmiddels vier ivf-behandelingen gehad. Het geld is op voor een vijfde behandeling. Ze besluiten om te kiezen voor donoreitjes. Olivia ondergaat deze behandeling in Spanje. Het heeft resultaat: Olivia is zwanger van een tweeling. Zij is dan wel niet de biologische moeder, maar Dan is op deze manier in ieder geval de biologische vader van de kinderen. Inmiddels heeft het gezin het ook op ...more
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reviewed on

The Winter Children by Lulu Taylor is a compelling, atmospheric novel which transported me forward and backwards in time, from present day Norfolk back to a 1950's boarding school.

I don't know exactly how to class this book. It had traits from various genres and included themes on family, relationships,mysteries and history, all told to the reader with a slight sense of unease which only grows as the novel advances and, overarching it all, secrets kept and reveale
Elke Vekeman
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heel meeslepend verhaal, want je bent continue benieuwd of het geheim van Dan & Francesca gaat uitkomen. En dan word je op het einde nog eens verrast met een mokerslag. Waaw, wat een drama.
May 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've NO idea how any reviewer could give this novel four or five stars.

The novel has two story lines, both of which were somewhat pathetic and unrealistic for me.

The book was long winded and could have been condensed into a few chapters.

As I always finish reading books I start, I did finish this book but it was tough going forcing myself to do so.

First last and only Lulu Taylor novel for me.
Sarina Morrhaye
Dit is echt geen thriller hé maar een roman. De laatste 150 pagina's waren interessant... de rest was maar zo en zo. heb me eindeloos geërgerd aan Francesca waardoor ik dit boek bijna op de 'deze lees ik niet uit' hoop had gegooid maar ik wilde echt wel meemaken hoe Francesca op haar bek zou gaan. En ze gingen en hoe !!!! 😊
Jun 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
The story is soooo slooowww......nothing really happens and the characters remain flat. The side story is more interesting than the story itself.
Diane Cuipers
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heerlijk boek ! Een aanrader
Readable. That's how I'd describe this book. Every evening I wanted to come back for the next installment.

I found The Winter Folly to be the same, in this respect. And this is a mark of a good writer. She has a rare, all-round talent for creating characters, interesting plots, pacing stories well, and setting the scene in way of descriptions. And while dramatic events are happening, it never feels dramatic or over done. The writing is subtle and it flows.

So, yes I really enjoyed this book! It h
Kimberly Sullivan
Jan 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I had a really difficult time with this book. I wanted to like it, but the characters kept getting in the way. It’s rather rare that none of the main characters in a novel appeal to me. All three protagonists seemed flat and their lack of personalities made it hard for me to feel interested or invested in their stories.

Olivia and Dan were the hardest to relate to. Both leave their jobs when their twin babies are born. They essentially live rent-free and expense-free off of other people, dedicat
May 14, 2017 rated it liked it
There are two stories in this book, one set in the present and one set in the 1960s. The problem is the '60s story, set in an all-female boarding school and features an illicit romance between a schoolgirl and a builder is way more interesting than the one set in the present. The present story tells of a married couple who finally have children through IVF after years of trying, but there is a lie entwined with it. I had a hard time sympathising with the couple, who basically spent two years bei ...more
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great read, having read The Snow Angel by Lulu Taylor and found this an enjoyable read, I was equally impressed with The Winter Children. There are several perspectives shown, starting with Dan and Olivia, who have finally started their family, twins, Bea and Stan, conceived using donor eggs. We read about their lives, their friend, Francesca (Cheska) and the role she will play as the story unfolds. Then the novel becomes ever more intriguing, switching back to 1959/1960 and two pupils at boar ...more
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This started as a 3/5 but I loved the final 10 pages so much they got an extra point. It did drag in the middle but I found myself picking it up every spare moment. Loved this book - a pleasure to read. Loved the character of Olivia but wondered why she put up with Dan, she deserved better
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, thriller, roman
Een goed boek, al voelde het voor mij meer als een roman dan een thriller!
Linda Johansen
Dec 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Did not enjoy this book at all
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-authors
3.5 stars. It was engaging but I felt something lacking that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

(view spoiler)
Heather Copping
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quite disturbing read that really draws you into the story. Olivia and Dan had been trying for a baby but to no avail, then a friend offers egg donation. The friend is an old uni friend of Dan's and together they keep Olivia in the dark. As the years go on and they are offered accommodation in a sprawling manor house by Francesca and more secrets are uncovered about Dan and Francesca and about the building itself. I have more books by Lulu Taylor on my to read pile and I will certainly be read ...more
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train
Agree with previous reviewer that going in blind, without knowing much about the story, is best for this one. Easy to read and kept me hooked from start to finish, with some truly chilling moments. Not sure if people who don't like kids will be able to relate to this, as it is very much about parenthood and the endless hard work, but also the hugely rewarding parts :-)
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een roman die de pretentie heeft een thriller te zijn. Leest heel prettig en heeft een aantal verhaallijnen die uiteindelijk in zekere zin bij elkaar komen. De laatste twist voelde voor mij als teveel en overbodig.
Cath Deacon
Jul 08, 2017 rated it liked it
For me,this book didn't grip me, mainly as I didn't connect with any of the main characters but did like the underlying story that happened 50 years before the main plot and the reunion of those characters at the very end.
Sarah Staddon-Phillips
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
An emotional roller coaster of a read. Actions taken, with the best of intentions at the time, over two storylines have devasting consequences. An unexpected twist at the end. A lively winter read to curl up by the fire with.
Dec 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Excellent book did not want to put it dow. Great characters and lots of twists and turns in the plot.
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book as with all of
Lulu Taylor's books
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mooi boek. Wel eerder een roman dan een thriller. je wilt wel weten wat er gaat gebeuren. Door de korte wisselende hoofdstukken over het heden en het verleden blijft het vlot lezen.
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Lulu was brought up in the Oxfordshire countryside, attended a girls’ school and then went to Oxford University, where she read English Literature. After university, she worked in publishing for several years, before becoming a novelist.

Lulu says of her books: ‘I’ve always adored stories of the rich and reckless at play, everything from The Great Gatsby to the brilliant blockbuster novels of the 8
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