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The Winter Ghosts

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  12,314 ratings  ·  1,675 reviews
By the author of the "New York Times"-bestselling "Labyrinth," a story of two lives touched by war and transformed by courage.

In the winter of 1928, still seeking some kind of resolution to the horrors of World War I, Freddie is traveling through the beautiful but forbidding French Pyrenees. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Dazed, he stumbles thro
Hardcover, 253 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Orion
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Average rating 3.44  · 
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Amalia Gkavea
‘’Bones and shadows and dust. I am the last. The others have slipped away into darkness. Around me now, at the end of my days, only an echo in the still air of the memory of those who once I loved. Solitude, silence.’’

Kate Mosse is one those writers that I trust completely. I’d choose one of her books without reading the blurb or a single review without reservations. Although I’ve never read the Languedoc trilogy because I’ve been spoiled to the degree of knowing every single detail, ‘’The T
Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
This was a quick yet entertaining read. The ending was a little confusing and vague though...

I will say straight off this book was perfect for my snowy getaway to Switzerland in December. It had a good dark, cold and even a bit eerie feel to it and as night comes early in the winter this was a really good pick.

I really liked how the author was able to create a really good atmosphere in this, she fully managed to paint a good picture of the time periods and the setting. Heck it even made me want
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads, spookies
Rating Clarification: 4.5 Stars

Beautifully rendered ghost story that encapsulates grief better then any I have read in a long time. This tale of separation, loss and redemption is bittersweet to the very end. Author Kate Mosse's descriptive prose is lovely, and the story is haunting without being cliched. While I wasn't too impressed with her longer novel, Labyrinth, Mosse delivers an emotional knockout with this shorter work. Of added bonus is the ink drawings preceeding each chapter by Brian G
Jul 14, 2012 rated it did not like it
I have created a new shelf in honor of this book, ie 'too painful to finish'. I tried for another 20 pages or so, but it is too awful for me to waste my time on. This is my review when about one-third through.

This story is so tediously over-written, that I am not sure I can finish it. The plot moves at a glacial pace with childish elaboration. As I finish reading several pages when almost nothing happens, I can't help but think of the few sentences that Elmore Leonard would have wrapped it up w
Jan 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, owned
Freddie is haunted by the memory of his brother George, who lost his life during World War I. After years of sadness and a brief stint in a sanitarium Freddie journey's around France. When a snow storm leaves him with a broken car and lost in the mountains he winds up in the village of Nulle, Freddie finds a girl with a similar past who leads him to a monumental historical discovery.

The Winter Ghosts is a quick read, which is good because it will distract you from the lack of story it has. Mosse
Damian Dubois
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, favorites
The ideal setting to read a book concerning ghosts would be during the dead of winter, tucked up comfortably in an armchair in front of a warm cosy fire, while the wind outside howls through the eaves and the snow blankets the land outside.

For some reason I always manage to time my reading of ghost stories when the weather is unseasonably warm (for goodness sake, we're only a third of the way into spring and it's already stinking hot!) so the ideal mentioned above unfortunately fell by the waysi
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this book. At the outset, it reminded me a bit of The Shadow of the Wind with its atmospheric tone with a touch of suspense and creepiness.

The story opens at an antiquarian bookseller in Toulouse, France. Our main character, a young man, presents the shop owner with a very old piece of parchment written in a long-gone language. He needs a translator, but the shop owner wants to know how he came to have it first. It's the telling of this story that makes up the bulk o
Jan 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, general
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne-Marijn Küthe
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved it! Loved the atmosphere, the writing and the history!
This was a thoroughly enjoyable little story with plenty of atmosphere and intrigue. I've only read one other book by Kate Mosse - the readable but somewhat heavy-handed Sepulchre - and The Winter Ghosts was far better. Like Sepulchre, it reads rather like a YA novel, and I wasn't at all surprised to learn it's an expanded version of a previously published short story. But the characters are likeable, the plot grips, and Freddie's meeting with the mysterious Fabrissa and his subsequent discoveri ...more
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is not a hefty tome like Kate Mosse's previous novels; in reality it is a novella and I read it in two sittings. As I haven't read her previous works I didn't have any preconceptions about this. Past and present are woven together well and the ghost story is redolent of M R James. The themes of love and loss are central and the setting is post WW1. Freddie is mourning his older brother who died in the war; the exploration of male grief is very interesting and poignant. the resolution and wo ...more
Dec 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An exquisite ghost story, well told, highly emotive, short and to the point. This one has a beautiful backdrop to it in southern France, a land of snow-clad mountains and icy forests. I'm not ashamed to admit it had me bawling at the end.

The various plot strands are neatly woven: the great sense of loss following the Great War; psychological grief; 14th century history; an atmospheric and subtle ghostly presence worthy of the best Victorian authors and even a little mystery here and there.

Fiona MacDonald
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a strange and dreamlike story. For those hoping for a scary ghost story I think you will be disappointed because it portrays so much more...
Freddie has lost his beloved brother George in the trenches and, after being released from a sanitarium where he has been convalescing following a breakdown he winds up in France on the way to visit some friends. A day later, Freddie is trapped in a small village following a snowstown that has caused his car to crash and is invited to the annual celebra
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
We are who we are, because of those we choose to love and because of those who love us.

A nice and cozy little read perfect for a winter evening. It has a few ghosts but concentrates on life, on a wounded soul and the way to heal it and, above all else, on the need to love and be loved in turn.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
1.5 rating, since there were one or two things I actually liked about this book. It is suffice to say that it was a load of sentimental bollocks. I would have given up on this book, only if I hadn't read and enjoyed Mosse's previous novels (see Labyrinth and Sepulchre). Also, it was a short read, so I thought I might as well finish it because I absolutely hate abandoning books half-way through.

Just like Hosseini in The Kite Runner, Mosse tries to over-sentimentalize the suffering and grief of h
Elizabeth Sulzby
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found this brief novel about the Cathars' persecution in the 14th Century of France to be much more elegant and rewarding than The Labyrinth. I think Mosse uses the time shifting from the early 20th Century to the 14th century much more skillful and convincing. As with the Labyrinth, the caves allowed whole communities to hide from persecution and death--to a point. The main character has to resolve issues in his modern life with his grief for his brother who was killed in WWI, with his relati ...more
Paula Cappa
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. The descriptions absolutely came to life on the page. This story of ghosts, love and romance, and the supernaturalism of the past leaking into the present (1933) is a fascinating one. Freddie is a charming and sympathetic character, deeply introspective, who stayed with me long after I closed the book. Hidden caves, mysterious images, and Mosse’s evocative prose made for a suspenseful read. This is not a scary ghost story, more melancholy and cerebral. I liked this novel far ...more
Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it
It's 288 pages? What is this a short story? The Winter Ghosts is a stand alone novel, not part of the series that ties Labyrinth and Sepulchre.Is Kate Mosse mad at me?

The Winter Ghosts starts like a classic spook tale with the arrival of a stranger. In 1928 Freddie Watson enters a bookshop in Toulouse clutching a letter written in a dead language. He then tells the shocked bookseller his story. Watson had not been able to get past his adored brother's death during WWI. After ten years of grievi
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I struggled with the first half of this book. I almost put it down. The lovely language kept me loyal. I persisted. The reward was a bittersweet ghost story that leaves one feeling happy to be human inside. I love that sort of book.

Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I would have liked this book more if it was a short story as opposed to a full length novel. Sadly, the length of this book seemed unnecessary to me, not enough was going on.
Jul 01, 2020 rated it liked it
55% Good

What I thought of The Winter Ghosts: Poetically written this book was quite intriguing but not all that exciting or my type.

Favorite Character:Because I did not get attached to any of the characters, it is hard for me to choose a favorite, buuuut if I had to, it would most likely be Fabrissa, the ghost who helped the main character, Freddie, get over his own ghosts, or so to speak.

Least-Favorite-Character:Even harder than choosing a favorite character... can I say a group of people? Wel
The Winter Ghosts felt more like a novella than a full novel: it was a very quick read. Mind you, I found Kate Mosse's other books to be very quick reads, too. It's funny, though, with her books -- I don't remember much of the plots, only the scenery therein, and the devices she used to tell the story (thankfully not in operation here, though it still feels a bit clumsy, of which more in a moment). I have a vague recollection of feeling comfortable, of curling up with the books with rain outside ...more
Jul 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: udate
''The dead leave their shadows, an echo of the space within which once they lived. They haunt us, never fading or growing older as we do. The loss we grieve is not just their futures, but our own''

I brought The Winter Ghosts as one of my first ever e-books nearly two years ago, so I’ve no idea why I even choose it – I think because it sounded like a sad and intense story, set in France, which has always held a fascination for me.

The Winter Ghosts is a slow story, but it is the type of story tha
I'm pretty certain if this book was any longer I wouldn't have finished it. Saying that, it's strange that for such a short book, my main thought was that it needed a damn good edit. A short story may have worked, but as a novel it did nothing for me. There were some interesting ideas somewhere underneath all the waffle, but the execution was flawed and overall reading this was a bit of a drag. Many parts of the book turned out to be largely unnecessary to the only interesting part of the story, ...more
Jan 02, 2012 rated it did not like it

I picked up this book against my better judgement, because I really didn't enjoy "Labyrinth" by Mosse, but I figured that this was short, so why not?

It was not very good. There was a good idea buried in here somewhere, but the execution was flawed. The main character drove me crazy. I mean, I get he was mourning, and I have no problem with that aspect of his personality, but he just really irked me. He turned into a babbling idiot for no discernible reason, and the actions he took made no r
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winter Ghosts is a ghost story, but is also a story on grief and its effects on the human mind and spirit. It's one of the best depictions of grief that I've ever read. It was hauntingly beautiful, and Kate Mosse's literary style of writing engaged me. Having worked as a mental health professional, I feel a special empathy when reading about those who have or who are experiencing mental illness symptoms. This book definitely stirred those feelings. I also loved the illustrations that accompanied ...more
Freddie has spent the last six years obsessing over the final days of his brother George. Because of this, he has inadvertantly made himself open to a ghostly experience. I loved this book. It was beautifully written and the illustrations really added to the mood. The reader can clearly see what is happening to Freddie even thou he can not. The reader knows what is waiting for him, and who's who. Even thou, the suspence is there. A beautiful story. ...more
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-borrowed
A ghost story set in the aftermath of the Great War! Excellent read!
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the first book I have read by Kate Moss, an English author. She writes books that often feature ghosts, and are set in other times and places. This novel takes place in 1928, in southern France, in the Pyrenees Mountains, close to the Spanish border. This is a historically contentious region. The novel focused on a history which I did not know, that of the Christian heresy of the 13th and 14th century referred to as Catharism. The followers believed in a dual God – one good and one evil ...more
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Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), and Citadel (2012), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate’s new novel, The Taxidermist’s Daughter is out now.
Kate is the Co-

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