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Lost in September

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  191 ratings  ·  60 reviews
Long-awaited, thrilling new fiction from Kathleen Winter, whose previous novel Annabel was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller, Governor General's Award, Writers' Trust and Orange prizes, was a Globe and Mail "Best Book" and a New York Times "Notable," and was a #1 bestselling Canada Reads selection. From one of Canada's most exciting writers comes a gripping, compassiona ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Knopf Canada
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3.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  191 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a beautifully written and atmospheric piece of literature that delves into the plight of a soldier of war, specifically General James Wolfe.

It’s an intriguing look at a piece of Canadian history not known by many that I think some will thoroughly enjoy while others may find it a little too heavy and hard to follow at times.

Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a GiveAway in exchange for an honest review.

Kathleen Winter's writing is phenomenal. It's a delight to read. The story of James/Jimmy is complex and haunting.
The story of James/Jimmy is heartbreaking, warm, human and shows the loneliness of military life. Where does Life end? How does one keep one's sanity and live with the horrors of war? Does one find peace? Jimmy suffers from PTSD and is intertwined with James Wolfe. Through him, James remains alive.
James Wolfe searches for
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, can-con, war
Emptied, Culloden heath: crows, distant hills full of birches. Dettingen: mud, rubble, my lifelong horror's tender shoot. Ghundy Ghar: from our new trenches fell bones from old wars over the very same land.

On September 2, 1752, England followed the rest of Europe in adopting the Gregorian Calendar; causing varying degrees of inconvenience for those who effectively “lost” eleven days. One so affected was British soldier James Wolfe – eventually to be promoted to the level of General and sent to
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is something. I love historical novels, and this one is told from a modern point-of-view. How one can react to PTSD, it can be unpredictable. Yet, I found myself noting that I didn't know much about General Wolfe, even if I did study the battle in school, like every student in Quebec. I very much liked the book.

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.
perhaps memory of a person is one thing, and the real present person another, like a body separated from its shadow. p2

Perhaps the bewilderment the curious reader might experience getting to the heart of this latest fiction by KW is necessary for total appreciation of this brilliant book on identity and connection.

Some people recognize a truth even when it has been orphaned
for a while among the worlds bright falsities. p 10
Shannon White
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Lost in September takes a unique approach to historical fiction, much like Lincoln in the Bardo does. The tale centers around a soldier suffering from PTSD who believes himself to be General James Wolfe of the 1700's. Often, when I read a historical fiction piece, I am not previously acquainted with the person or topic that the story is covering. Usually the story draws me into the character much like any work of fiction. In this case, I had trouble relating to the soldier. I found that it didn' ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really struggled with this book, reading some pages several times. My low rating, reluctantly given, in no way reflects its literary merit or the historical research entailed.
I loved K. Winters previous book, Annabel, and gave it one of my rare 5 star ratings. I was intrigued by the description of the plot and preordered Lost in September. It is September and felt lost while reading it.
I kept plodding away until the end, but neither the James Wolfe persona nor the Jimmy Blanchard character
"Lost in September" is about a young soldier, Jimmy Blanchard, who believes himself to be the historical figure General James Wolfe while he wanders the streets of modern day Montréal. It is a story of war and PTSD and modernity.

Unfortunately, I was not able to immerse myself fully into Blanchard/Wolfe's narrative. My mind kept wandering off because I found the plot (although well researched) to be excruciatingly dull. I hated Sophie's character - she was annoying with her eccentricities - and
Steven Buechler
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There is something unique in the story line that Winter has created here. Our concept of history is muddled and confusing and that is what she has shown us here with this narrative. Would our forbearers -many of whom died for their ideals  – be truly impressed with the world around us today? Winter has given us something to ponder over as we read this book.

Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This tells the tale of an ex-soldier on the streets of Montreal suffering from PTSD and incorporates a historical figure from Canadian history.

This book really didn't do it for me. It seemed like it was trying really hard to be poetic and different, but it really fell flat. I was extremely bored the whole time and felt no connection to any of the characters. The historical portions felt like I was reading a particularly bad textbook in school. I did not buy into the authors attempt at trying to
Kate Henderson
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A spectacular exercise in imagination. Filled with flamboyant present-day characters of Montréal who give James Wolfe his due.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read Annabel by Kathleen Winter and it was a beautiful, sad and pretty much awesome book so I was excited to see she had a new one coming out. I received an electronic copy from Netgalley and got stuck in. Lost in September is very, very different from Annabel. It's about a young ex-soldier who just happens to be a dead ringer for General James Wolfe, who died in 1759 at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. He also apparently has Wolfe's memories. Somehow, he seems to be the sam ...more
Trevor Pearson
Sep 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways, reviewed
Received a copy of Lost In September by Kathleen Winter through the GoodReads First Reads Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review

In the new world things are a lot colder than what they used to be, people have become more distant and old comforts ceased to exist. People now prefer to live isolated in their own little bubbles reserving little time for anyone that can't offer them something in return. Life was so much simpler when parents participated in activities with their children an
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I read and enjoyed Kathleen Winter’s debut novel, Annabel, so I was excited to read her second novel.

In present-day Montreal, Jimmy, a young man who bears a striking resemblance to General James Wolfe, visits the city for 11 days. General Wolfe died September 13, 1759, on the Plains of Abraham in a pivotal battle in Canadian history, but Jimmy seems to have Wolfe’s memories. In 1752, Wolfe lost an 11-day leave in Paris because of the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar; now Jimmy t
Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I was disappointed, confused a lot, and uninterested a lot. But the writing is good, and the story might have resonated for me more if I had read the reviews beforehand.

(view spoiler)
Mary Johnson
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaway-wins
"All memory is a failed mirror."

*Review contains mild spoilers*

I'm torn on this one.
Kathleen Winter has the sort of writing that would make English teachers fall in love. Very literary, very clever, but not always easy to follow. Everyone, including modern, everyday characters, spoke using so many details and similes that it felt awkward and convoluted, made especially jarring when modern phrases like 'freaking out' were tossed in. Probably 25% could've been cut, and it would've made things s
Cathy Regular
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it

Hidden Gems:

I believe one of the greatest perils to a man's soul is the unseemly adoption of dramatic and irrational spiritual beliefs.

How I miss dogs - how good they are at quenching the bitter end of loneliness.

Uncertainty is my mistress.
Risk is her middle name.

Anyone foolish enough to raise half a silk balloon over his head every step he takes would certainly be the laughing stock of the whole country for being so unfit and cowardly as to be scared of a raindrop.

Sometimes an unaccounta
Jane Mulkewich
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This book has an intriguing premise, about General James Wolfe who (along with everyone else) lost eleven days in September 1752 when Britain abandoned the Julian calendar for the Gregorian calendar... and now it seems that he comes back to present-day Montreal every September to see how "New French Britain" has fared since General Wolfe died in 1759 at the Battle on the Plains of Abraham. I enjoyed meeting Kathleen Winter at a literary festival this weekend, and she read from the passage about ...more
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, actually, but I'm going to give it the upgrade for this system as I think this book is well worth reading.

Jimmy Blanchard is a Canadian soldier home from Afghanistan who believes that he is the living embodiment of James Wolfe, the British Commander killed on the plains of Abraham in what is now Quebec City while taking the city for the British in the 1700s. Jimmy/Wolfe has been wandering the streets of Montreal trying to piece together his earlier life and hrbwants to get to the Plai
Mary Lou
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
So much to love in her writing - keen observer, wordsmith, creator of vivid and touching scenes — but this was a disappointing read — maybe I just didn’t get it, but the concept of a disturbed and damaged young man living with PTSD, inhabiting the life and character of James Wolfe, perhaps another PTSD affected soldier, living the eleven days that Wolf missed out of his life due to the calendar change in 1752 - it just didn’t work for me — maybe because I found this Wolfe to be a whiner? — I was ...more
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways
I received this book as part of the Goodreads Giveaways.

I have to admit that I was rather confused reading this book. PTSD? Really? I am not sure I would have noticed had I not been told. For me, the parts where I connected the most with the character, where I was both touched and interested, were the parts on Wolfe and the descriptions of the battles with Montcalme I was truly open to read on war and its impact on soldiers – and Quebec’s battle did give me a glimpse of that. Yet, for some reaso
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm writing a review of this now, since I just finished the book, but I feel like I might need to process for a while longer. I'm tempted to start reading again from the beginning. The situation Winter sets up is unusual, and I found it difficult to unravel at first. But little by little I was drawn in by Jimmy and his world. He--meaning either Jimmy or James Wolfe or both, because the two are intertwined--is an odd character, (usually) entertainingly verbose, talking endlessly about the Battle ...more
Oct 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
I loved Annabel. I couldn't stand this book. It was painful (not in a mind-stretching but an endurance of boredom) kind of way. Were her name not on the book and connected in advertising to the Kathleen Winter of Annabel, I would not believe it was the same author. I made it through 100 pages and decided that life is too short.

I hate giving bad reviews. This book simply felt like a punishment to read.

It was an ARC. I feel guilty that I couldn't finish it. That said, my guilt and inability to s
Peggy Forde
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I nearly gave up on this book but I’m glad I persevered. I love Canadian history and this provides a unique look at one of the most important figures of that country’s story, pre-Confederation, General James Wolfe. Wolfe, here, is presented in the delusions of a Canadian Afghan war veteran who suffers from PTSD, therefore this is also a story about mental illness, in particular, the effects of war on the psyche. Some of the “battle scenes” are difficult to get through but Jimmy’s story is compel ...more
Kevin Cadigan
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I won a copy of these from Goodreads and was very interested to read it. Although it isn't a book I'd typically read, I did enjoy it. Forced to choose between a 3 and a 4, (since if available, I'd give it a 3.5), I ended up going with a 3, since it did take a bit too long to get to where it was going, despite not being a long book. I agree with those that commented on how the book at times was hard to follow at times due to the shifting timelines and locales and how the flowery language was a li ...more
Rebecca Hock
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book from Goodreads. I studied General James Wolfe in high school and visited the Plains of Abraham over 40 years ago. so the subject matter of the book caught my attention. I really enjoyed this book. It took me awhile to really get into it but once I did, I had to keep reading to see how it all worked out. I have not read anything by the author of this book,Kathleen Winter, but I will be on the lookout for other books by her. I found her style of writing very easy to under ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I obtained this copy from a Goodreads Giveaway.

I love complex Canadian fiction, and Kathleen Winter's newest novel does not disappoint. Elegant writing, beautiful language, and fluid characters and narratives made this novel a good, slow read that needs time to be devoured. Playing on questions of identity, self, history, and trauma, Winter weaves a complex story that will leave you questioning everything you think you have learned (and changing your mind with each chapter). Slipping
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
I won this book from GoodReads this month. I read Kathleen Winter's novel "Annabel" last year and really liked it. Her latest novel "Lost in September" comes out, appropriately, in September. It is the story of Jimmy who is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and he is suffering from PTSD. He believes he is the reincarnated historical leader General James Wolfe who died in 1759 on the Plains of Abraham. The story is beautifully written, at times funny and other times very sad. Winter brings the ...more
Debbie Burton-Peddle
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Although expertly written with well researched historical facts of General James Wolfe, I just found the premise of the story off putting in relating to a present day soldier experiencing PTSD. Whether it was meant to be viewed as the protagonist's (Jimmy) coping mechanisms for PTSD or approached as reincarnation had me somewhat bewildered. The storyline fell a bit flat for me as well as the characters. The injection of humour in conversation was good and spiced it up in places. A good literary ...more
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Interesting writing, strange book to me. Persisted through 99 pages before giving up and starting to skip. I just couldn't persist further, and still didn't get a big picture. There were interesting details, no doubt historical, although possibly not all true, about the French coming to North America in Quebec, about Wolfe and Montcalm, about the British Navy, about the era, about being a soldier. The magic realism didn't work for me. Was there time travel? Was this a mentally ill former soldier ...more
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Kathleen's stories boYs (Biblioasis 2007) won Canada's Metcalf-Rooke Award and Winterset Award. Her novel, Annabel (House of Anansi Press 2010), was a finalist for all three of Canada's major literary awards. It became a #1 Canadian bestseller,came out in 2011 with Grove Atlantic/Black Cat in New York and Jonathan Cape in London, and has been translated wordwide. Her memoir "Boundless: Tracing Lan ...more
“If a person knits as you speak of the past, you can become mesmerized. As the yarn unwinds from its skein your memories naturally unfold to their full length.” 0 likes
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