Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wintering (Eide Family, #2)” as Want to Read:
Wintering (Eide Family, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Eide Family #2)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  2,036 ratings  ·  328 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
Hardcover, 300 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Knopf
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wintering, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Winnie Sipprell Maybe it is a nostalgia thing for those living in N. Minnesota. I had the same question and still don't get it. Will be discussing with my book club t…moreMaybe it is a nostalgia thing for those living in N. Minnesota. I had the same question and still don't get it. Will be discussing with my book club today so maybe will get more insight.
Mary Steinman I read them in order and it helped me understand the characters better. I guess I'd call it a stand alone with history, if that makes sense. …moreI read them in order and it helped me understand the characters better. I guess I'd call it a stand alone with history, if that makes sense. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,036 ratings  ·  328 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Wintering (Eide Family, #2)
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! ...more
ἀρχαῖος (arkhaîos) In Lockdown
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
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
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I would have liked this much better had I read the first book in the series. But it was for book club and I didn't realize this, so was lost at times, mainly because of the audio listen. I may have liked it better in print. But it was good writing and storytelling and I did get a feel for the great north woods of Minnesota. Brrrr! ...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
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
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
This was such a great audio book. I had the print on my shelf for many months and finally it was at the top of the stack for fall and winter selections. It was a gripping start to winter reads that will be hard to follow. A family drama with two time lines, one in the present day and one the son telling of a canoe trip he and his father took to the upper reaches of Minnesota wilderness in winter. Not a trip for the faint hearted and this one brought out a mixture of truths for both father and so ...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
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!
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.
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. ...more
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
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!
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
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
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. ...more
Nancy Baker
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I didn't realize until after I finished this story that it is the second in a series of books. I MUST stop and read book #1 and then follow through with the remainder of stories. There was something about the style of writing by this author that I loved. It almost had a poetic feel to it. The fact that I love books with a water element (and there was sure plenty of that here) and that I read it during the Winter months of January, made it all the more appealing.

This is a story circling the Eide
DaveNelda Eitreim
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
2nd one in Eide family saga. Love the north shore references.
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
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
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).
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Laurentian Divide
  • Vacationland
  • Pretty Bitches: On Being Called Crazy, Angry, Bossy, Frumpy, Feisty, and All the Other Words That Are Used to Undermine Women
  • Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul
  • The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines
  • The Untold History of Healing: Plant Lore and Medicinal Magic from the Stone Age to Present
  • Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change
  • Turtle Island
  • Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth
  • My Story as told by Water: Confessions, Druidic Rants, Reflections, Bird-watchings, Fish-stalkings, Visions, Songs and Prayers Refracting Light, from Living Rivers, in the Age of the Industrial Dark
  • The Herbal Lore of Wise Women and Wortcunners: The Healing Power of Medicinal Plants
  • The Tao of the Dude: Awesome Insights of Deep Dudes from Lao Tzu to Lebowski
  • Nature's Way: Native Wisdom for Living in Balance with the Earth
  • The Devil's Kettle
  • Damaging Evidence: A Novel (Goodlove and Shek, #3
  • A Miracle of Catfish
  • Défense du secret
  • All the Devils are Here (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #16)
See similar books…
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)

News & Interviews

What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug...
111 likes · 22 comments
“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
More quotes…