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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  283 ratings  ·  64 reviews
When Jessica’s partner disappears into the dark Tasmanian forest, there is of course the mystery of what happened to him. The deserted car; the enigmatic final image on his phone.

There is the strange circle of local women, widows of disappeared men, with their edgy fellowship and unhinged theories.

And the forest itself: looming hugely over this tiny settlement on the remot
Paperback, 261 pages
Published September 3rd 2018 by Text Publishing
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  283 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“She felt the calm of the cave as soon as she stepped through the unmarked entrance. The air felt different in here. Colder, damper. Still. There was a silence as if she was holding a seashell up to each ear, a silence filled with the pulse of heart, the whoosh of blood.
She waited till her eyes adjusted. Closed them, counted to ten, lifted her chin and opened her eyes to the universe unfurled above. Her tiny, miraculous larval galaxy...
The first cave was the largest. There was one of the biggest
Bri Lee
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Full and fair disclosure: I know the author.

I was so, so excited to read this and it did not disappoint - I finished it in two sittings. Wintering takes several dark twists and turns, but initially we're gripped by the disappearance of our protagonist Jessica's partner in the remote Tasmanian forest. It made me feel physically cold and pretty creeped-out at times; there is a perfect combination of specific science (duh, it's Kneen) and a much more amorphous sense of the uncanny. Setting is a cri
Text Publishing
‘At once a supernatural thriller and a sharp meditation on the legacy abusive men leave behind.’
Cass Moriarty
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If Krissy Kneen is not already known as The Literary Chameleon, then she should be. Once again, she has flexed her writing muscle and proven her literary adaptability and diversity with her most recent novel Wintering (Text Publishing 2018). As we have come to expect from this author, Wintering is a genre-bending hybrid, but it is a departure from anything I have read from her before – part ghost story, part horror outback noir, part romance, part Twilight Zone, part mystery – and all, of course ...more
Michael Livingston
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Vivid, dramatic and intense - Kneen is one of our most inventive writers and this is another stunner. She creates a menacingly atmospheric atmosphere - you can feel the cold leaching into your bones and the trees closing in around you - and fills it with marine science, tough old women, hinst of the supernatural and a gripping plot. Goooood stuff (I've dropped a star because I didn't *quite* buy the ending).
Jay-Dee Davis
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ll admit at first I was little bit “meh” about this book, but after about halfway through I was hooked.

Without giving away too many spoilers, it takes a kind of folklore most commonly found in European and Native American tales and plants it firmly in an Australian context*. This particular type of folklore has really been taken up by YA fiction and movies in the past decade or so (no, it’s not what you are thinking), yet somehow the author gives a really fresh take on the story. Her writing e
Julia Tulloh Harper
I feel like my 3 star rating doesn't convey how much I enjoyed reading this book - I couldn't put it down. I found the story very gripping, and the writing style was great - Kneen did an excellent job of describing just how cold, muddy, dark and dense Tassie's southern forests are. I also really enjoyed the metaphor of Tassie tiger as masculine abuse/coercion, but I suppose I wasn't convinced why the main character ever would get together with her partner in the first place. There was a lot of t ...more
Francene Carroll
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was ok

I should have loved this book. I enjoyed Krissy Kneen's Steeplechase and think she's a talented writer. I adore spooky stories about people in remote locations, especially when the story has a lot of symbolic meaning.

Wintering has all these things but for me it fell flat. I've traveled through this part of Tassie and visited the Hastings Cave, and even spent time in a tiny cabin there on the edge of the ocean with the wind roaring and shaking the walls. I did enjoy this aspect of the
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club, favorites
You will want to set aside a leisurely day for this one when you can totally immerse and not have to tear yourself away for anything less essential than food and water. So often I had to force myself to STOP READING! and ...BREATHE. Turned around and read the first two chapters again immediately after finishing (sadly, it was over way too soon)! .

..But perhaps don't read this review before you begin because I'm going to rave and it may be best if you have low or no expectations, as I did when st
Sally Piper
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kneen is a unique and inventive writer and in Wintering she takes readers into altogether new terrain - a small and isolated coastal community in Tasmania where men go missing. It is a skilfully suspenseful story in which readers must wrestle with the possibilities of madness, myth, magic and reality.
Jessica Lourigan
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
I try not to look at reviews of a novel before I read it, but in this case I so wish I had so I could have avoided it altogether. It was exciting to begin with, had a great sense of place (I could feel the cold of Southern Tasmania), the characters were believable.....and then it went off into magic realism nearly half way through. I felt cheated, it was not what I signed up for but I felt I had to finish it. People turning into animals or animals turning into people, nah sorry, not for me.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this. Such a unique concept and imaginative spin on what has been a very popular piece of folklore in the last decade. Absolutely love reading well-written novels set in Australia, that familiarity of my own country is so comforting in fiction. I was a little frustrated with the protagonist for most of the book but there was major character development in the last 10 chapters or so which made her much more likeable. 4 stars
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book kept me thinking long after I put it down each time....(a shame when real life gets in the way of a long reading session)
So atmospheric, intense and with a hint supernatural, I really didn’t know which way the book was leading me but I loved it.
Dasha M
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing, dark, mysterious Australian gothic. Krissy Kneen can do no wrong.
Lesley Moseley
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it
2 1/2 rounded up because although I did read the whole book, some of the 'mystical' elements just seemed silly!
Kate Gordon
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Suzy Dominey
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it
fairytale and mystery my kind of book
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: homelibrary
A dream of a book set in the winter cold of South Tasmania.
Peta Campbell
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read for book club June 2019
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Avoid pages 164-165. (Dream/memory of shooting a kitten as part of a cult.)
Avoid pages 237-238. (Freeing dead dog's corpse from a net.)
The book also contains domestic abuse.

Kind of reminds me of Kenneth Cook's WAKE IN FRIGHT. Aussie noir. Only this is in winter instead of summer.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This was disappointing. I never warmed to the main character and found her life choices to be strange and not very believable. I also found the 'mystery' pretty silly which drew me out of the main story. 3 stars.
Jessica’s partner, Matthew, disappears into the dark Tasmanian forest. Jessica, isolated and unsure of her future, struggles to cope, particularly as the mystery of what happened to him becomes more and more complicated. A fellowship of women talk of their husbands being taken by a tiger – the extinct thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger – and want Jessica to join them. It sounds insane, but there is the last, enigmatic image recorded on Matthew’s phone and something lurking close by Jessica that she ca ...more
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A well-written and highly engaging novel, "Wintering" reminded me of "The Hunter" (Julia Leigh) in its focus on the mystery of the Tasmanian tiger. Here, however, it is recast as a paranormal, Gothic tale purporting that the thylacine is not extinct, as generally believed, but rather kept alive by its violent taking of the human body of the men it inhabits. This idea is explored through the disappearance of Jessica's partner and her encounter with a strange circle of women who have experienced s ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wintering is an enthralling read, due equally to the strength of the writing, and the combination of mystery, grief and scientific curiosity that provide the framework of this book. The dangers of the Tasmanian wilderness, of nature, the tantalising possibility of a thylacine, and the dangers found within families and relationships provide the chilling undercurrent of menace that keeps the momentum building.

Jessica, the protagonist, is a scientist researching glow worms and instead of feeling a
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The Wintering starts of a little awkwardly with some overbearing phrases; however, the narrative manages to rescue itself through its brooding and haunting atmosphere, gaining momentum and confidence until its dramatic and satisfying conclusion.

Some of the dialogue is less interesting and supporting characters often lack depth and substance being (perhaps purposely) vague, but this does help with the overall sense of isolation and detachment that the central protagonist (Jessica Weir) endures.

Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sherry Mackay
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don’t know what I feel about this book. I have met the author a couple of times and admire her writing. I love that she is a Brisbane writer; I love that she has set this book in Tasmania one of my very favourite places in the world; I think that she has evoked the damp and mysterious atmosphere of the Tasmanian environment very well. That is beautifully done. I’m not sure I understand exactly what has happened with the characters though. I think the author has done a brilliant job in giving u ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was immediately drawn into the small community in Tasmania in which this story takes place - had to go and google the area to get a sense of what it looks like. I loved the setting - there's something about Tassie! It's dark at times. The main character is a studious and conscientious woman who works in and researches cave systems and habitat. This aspect of her is at odds with the emerging realisation the reader has that the love of her life is someone she doesn't really know everything about ...more
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Krissy Kneen has been shortlisted three times for the Queensland Premier's Literary awards. She is founding member of Eatbooks Inc and is the marketing and promotions officer at Avid Reader bookshop. Find out more about Krissy Kneen at and
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