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Wintering

(Eide Family #2)

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,812 ratings  ·  298 reviews
An exceptional and acclaimed writer's third novel, far and away his most masterful book yet.

There are two stories in play here, bound together when the elderly, demented Harry Eide escapes his sickbed and vanishes into the forbidding northernmost Minnesota wilderness that surrounds the town of Gunflint—instantly changing the Eide family, and many other lives, forever. He’d
...more
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Knopf
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Popular Answered Questions
Janet Geye says the town is loosely based on Grand Marais, but incorporates many details from many towns on the North Shore
heidi so then odd & rebekah (NOT "rebecca"!!!) had harry? was there any indication that they married? thx!…moreso then odd & rebekah (NOT "rebecca"!!!) had harry? was there any indication that they married? thx!(less)

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Diane S ☔
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Gunflint, Minnesota, a man, elderly now, leaves his sickbed and disappears, leaving his son Gus and his longtime companion, Berit. This is not the first time this man has disappeared, when Gus was seventeen he and his father entered the boundary waters to spend the winter living off the land. This was called Wintering and at the time there was much Gus, didn't know, would find out and what happened during that time would become a secret between he and his father and also change Gus in many ways. ...more
Rae Meadows
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wintering is novel you want to curl up with and lose yourself in, but the undercurrent of violence never lets you relax. As he did in his previous stark and wrenching novel, The Lighthouse Road, Geye returns to Northern Minnesota, to the same town, with interrelated characters. This is a two track narrative, the first present day, the second thirty years before being retold. It is the past story I found particularly gripping, with elements similar to David Vann's Caribou Island, Krakauer's Into ...more
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction
Stellar writing and marvelous characters make this northern Minnesota adventure novel by Geye one of my favorite reads. If you enjoy author's like Charles Frazier, Joseph Boyden, or Lin Enger, WINTERING would definitely be right up your alley. One of my favorite reads of 2017, and highly recommended!
ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos)
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A wonderful, even charming book. Thank you Marita for the recommendation.

This is a story of love. It's a father and son story. It's adventure and it's mystery. It's also a great deal of sadness and human perseverance. It's also a discussion of human nature and of weakness and strength. Even a bit of good and evil. Above all, it is the human experience in nature. That just about sums it all up.

As in Peter Geye's 'The Lighthouse Road', he has structured the book so as to keep all of these storie
...more
Aaron Cance
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I grew up on Wisconsin’s lakes and rivers. I still have some nebulous, albeit abstractly pleasant, memories of making the three and a half hour drive north with my dad and grandfather in the late seventies to go freshwater smelting along the Lake Superior coastline. If you tried to describe smelting to someone who had never done it, it would surely sound like some type of insanity - you wait until the coldest part of the night (the water’s a handful of degrees above freezing), unroll a large net ...more
Sharyn
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kasa Cotugno
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Berit Lovig has loved Harry Eides ever since first meeting him when they were both 16, and now 60 years later, he has slipped from his bed and rejoined his fate in the wilderness. Over the next several months, Gus, Harry's son, tells Berit first hand the story of what happened 30 years before, the fall and winter of 1963, when he and Harry set off in two canoes into that same wilderness. As these two narratives unspool and converge, the history of the town and its inhabitants with their secrets ...more
Wendy Bunnell
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
After writing several less than complementary reviews for other books that I finished around the same time as Wintering I am so happy to be able to gush glowingly about a book. This is a really good book. I recommended it to my mom, and she is picky. Well, not really, but she doesn't like most of the books I read, but that is mostly a genre issue rather than a "mom" issue. And speaking of which, all of the characters in this book have serious "mom issues" like it is almost a family tradition. So ...more
Jill
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Four years ago, I had the pleasure of reading Peter Geye’s novel Safe from The Sea, which – at its heart – was about fathers and sons. In that book, the son procures and sold ancient maps as a career although the map he always needed – a blueprint to who is he is and where he stands as a son and husband – remain elusive.

I start with Peter Geye’s former book because similar themes abound in this one. Although it is being dubbed a “60 year saga”, the heart of the story focuses on a time in 1963, w
...more
Pam Walter
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the first book I have read from this author, Peter Geye. I had just come off some heavy duty works of non-fiction and really needed something light and easy, which this did not turn out to be. My husband grabbed this book from the library. I had to show some appreciation of his concern for me, and so I read it. The story line is mostly grim and filled with hardship. It takes place in Gunflint, Minnesota which is along the Canadian border. In the autumn of 1963, a middle aged man, Harry E ...more
Abby Fabiaschi
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Per Petterson’s fabulous novel OUT STEALING HORSES should pick up Peter Geye’s latest WINTERING.

Not in a hurry for the story to unfold, but aware of his pacing, Geye let’s readers learn about what really happened the winter that Gus and his father Harry set off on canoes to spend winter in the wild with only this as an explanation: “Folks always chase their sadness around. Into the woods. Up to the attic. Out onto the ice.”

Through alternating views of Gus and Harry’s late-in-life lover
...more
Candice
Aug 14, 2016 rated it liked it
The writing is absolutely beautiful. The descriptions of the winter woods in Minnesota made me feel like I was there. What I had a hard time with was the characters. It seemed that almost every one of them had a sad or even horrible childhood. Many of the adults ranged from nasty to cruel. The one exception was written in such glowing terms that she seemed more a caricature than a real person. I did like the way the story skipped between the trip that Gus took with his father, Harry, in 1963 to ...more
Travis Mulhauser
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novel. The scope of the story is really ambitious and sweeping and its pulled off, which is impressive enough, but its also the line by line excellence and imagery that impresses--hard to write such a big story and still kill it on the level of the sentence and that happens here, particularly with some of the imagery and landscape.

I loved the end, which was surprising in a way that made perfect sense, which is basically what great endings do. Bravo!
Tara Rock
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Mr. Geye just keeps getting better and better. Please read "The Lighthouse Road" before reading this new book as "Wintering" is a continuation; you will not be disappointed.
Wendy
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Peter Geye is one of my favorite authors. He reminds me of Ivan Doig. Both authors allow me to block out whatever is going on around me as I read their exquisite prose.

Wintering is part of the Eide Family story told from Berit and Gustav's POV. Berit has loved Harry, Gustav's father, for sixty years. She waited for him until he finally came to her after Gustav's mother left.

Wintering opens with Gustav telling Berit that Harry has wandered off and how he will never be found. This prompts Gustav
...more
Maureen Grigsby
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a powerful novel about a father/son relationship, as well as the woman who loves them both. This is the story of a small town in Minnesota and a brutal trip into the wilderness as winter is beginning. The writing in this novel was exquisite! I will definitely be reading Peter Geye’s other books!
Wayne
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Peter Geye is one of my favorite Minnesota writers. No, Peter is one of my favorite writers - period. This multigenerational father/son story returns to the hardscrabble North Shore Gunflint Trail, the Eide family mysteries and intrigue, with a heart-pounding Boundary Waters survival adventure thrown in for good measure. Highly recommended!
Laura (booksnob)
Wintering by Peter Geye

We are all connected. Everything is connected and this is evident as you read and piece together the lives of the characters in Wintering.

Wintering starts with the disappearance of Harry into the Northwoods of Gunflint, Minnesota. He has a degenerative disease and while search parties are sent out, his son Ode knows, Harry won't be found. The disappearance prompts his son to tell Harry's sweetheart, Berit, the true story of what happened to them in the Boundary Waters Cano
...more
Laura Hoffman Brauman
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This was an exquisite slow burn of a novel. Set in Gunflint and the Boundary Waters area, the ruggedness and stark beauty of the area -- especially in winter, is very much a character. Geye clearly loves and has an appreciation for the region. Some of what resonated for me was the descriptions of the area and being out on those lakes, looking at those maps, and relying on the person you are with for the decisions being made. Wintering explores the way the ghosts and sins of the past w ...more
Sandy
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Thriller? No. Mystery? I guess you could say that. Really, it read a bit more like a soap opera. I enjoyed the story with all the northern Minnesota references and found myself wanting to know what happened next. However, as the final chapters were unveiled, I found the characters and their lives to be too unrealistic and unrelatable. The audio version had an excellent reader, so it made the time listening fly by.
Thomas
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate to read this in manuscript form and I believe it to be Peter's finest work. What I love is how this work is in conversation with his second novel, Lighthouse Road, the characters and story worlds intertwined, deepening the experience and reader's connection to the Eide family saga.
Luke Johnson
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it
"The last time I read a literary thriller so profound Cormac McCarthy's name was on its spine. But Peter Geye is his own man and Wintering is as unique and menacingly beautiful as its Minnesota borderlands setting." - Richard Russo.

So that quote appears on the cover of the copy I picked up at my local library. Maybe I'm just a slave to buzzwords, but if you throw out the Cormac McCarthy card, you will at the least, get me to pause and read the dust cover. Though after having read the book I thin
...more
Ivy
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this story of different kinds of survival...survival in the wilderness, the survival of love over time, the survival of children in spite of their parents. The settings are well described and, therefore, easily envisaged. The interwoven stories of present and past are well constructed. The characters are well drawn and often as cold, dangerous, and unpredictable as the locations depicted in the Canadian borderlands.

Mr. Geye writes well, but he attempts to convey how portentious and li
...more
Linda
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love what Peter Geye writes about - the Great Lakes. And I love the way Peter Geye writes. I can easily picture each scene. He makes me yearn to be back home close to my Great Lake (Erie).
Booknblues
Wintering by Peter Geye is the kind of book which I love to read in the heat of our California summers. It works as well as an air conditioner (well not quite.)

The setting is so cold you can feel it in your bones. The border region of Minnesota is notoriously cold:

OUR WINTERS are faithful and unfailing and we take what they bring, but this season has tested even the most devout among us. The thermometer hanging outside my window reads thirty-two degrees below zero. Five degrees warmer than yest
...more
Ekollon
Jun 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
I did not like this book. It's not that I felt that this book was bad, necessarily (although there were parts of it that drove me crazy; was there really a time ever anywhere in Minnesota where a hat store/post office was called an apothecary?) but that it was entirely not my cup of tea. I am not one for books about survival in the wilderness or small time life in small towns, and the entire book just seemed to go on and on and on. If I hadn't been required to read the book for class, I wouldn't ...more
Erika
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've come to realize that gritty man versus nature stories really do it for me. Small town family rivals, bears, the potential that someone might freeze or starve to death in the barren wilderness - I love it all. I bought this to use up a coupon that was about to expire, it was a staff rec at Boswell, I didn't expect to become as immersed in it as I almost immediately was. I only wish I had known it was the second in a series. It doesn't seem you would need to necessarily read them in order, bu ...more
Karima
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Superb writing.
This story takes place in Gunflint, Minnesota. That tells you a lot right there. Gunflint. Imagine a town with a name like Gunflint. This a hard and brittle place, a place of "faithful", a place where the sky can be "as heavy and hard as an anvil".
Geye covers all the bases for a good story. Adventure, danger, love, wisdom. He has a good guy(Harry), and a VERY, VERY bad guy (Charlie).
I took away one star and almost took away two because of the depiction of women. With the exceptio
...more
Melissa
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5-4 stars. There were some loose ends for me at the end, and the beginning seemed to spin its wheels for a little while (ok, I get it, there's some ominous secret reason you're heading out in the wilderness - don't foreshadow 4 times if you don't plan to tell me what it is for another 200 pages). The narration was hard to get used to, bouncing back and forth in time, in tenses and between characters. But for the most part I liked the voyageur adventure and the interweaving of recollection and ...more
Kristel
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I decided to read this book because it won the Minnesota Book Awards Finalist (Novel & Short Story, 2017) and found it was set in Northeast Minnesota, Gunflint trail area which is now the boundary waters but the story covers the time period of the late 1800's to 1990s. It is an adventure, a love story, a feud, and a story of secrets. The main story occurs in 1963 when Harry Eide and his 18 year son Gustav flee trouble and go into the borderland "wintering" like the voyageurs would have done in e ...more
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Peter Geye is the author of Northernmost, forthcoming in April 2020, as well as the award-winning novels Safe from the Sea, The Lighthouse Road, and Wintering. Geye received his MFA from the University of New Orleans and his PHD from Western Michigan University, where he was editor of Third Coast. He currently teaches the year-long Novel Writing Project at the Loft Literary Center. Born and raised ...more

Other books in the series

Eide Family (3 books)
  • The Lighthouse Road (Eide Family, #1)
  • Northernmost (Eide Family, #3)

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“And though I had misgiving--obvious ones, too--one overwhelming thing drove me on: on the borderlands, my father would need me as much as I'd need him. That's what made me so blindly ready to go off with him. What boy doesn't wait his whole childhood to walk alongside his father on equal terms?” 2 likes
“There are so many similarities between [my father] and me, I can see that. But what I think really scares me are the countless ways I'm not like him. And because the past is getting farther and farther behind me, and the end coming closer and closer, I'm afraid I'll never meet the man in myself that I saw in him.” 1 likes
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