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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on February 13, 2012
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Resisting the urge to skip ahead so I could find out what happens was a serious problem with this novel. Even though there are a number of stories told in this novel; Meredith's struggles with her marriage, Nina's struggles with love and family, Anya's struggles with her past, and Veronika's story in Russia, everything flows so smoothly.

What starts out as a story of three struggling women turns into a beautiful story... one that literally brough tears to my eyes. I found that this book allowed me to laugh, cry, yell and hurt and a book that does that is a very powerful book.

Overall, this book needs to be read... it deserves a place on anyone's bookshelf! Well done Kristin Hannah, I will be reading many more of your books in the future!
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on June 30, 2013
It has been a long time since I have read a book so poignant. Winter Garden is going right to the top of my 'recommend to everyone' list. I have always been suspect of symbolism in novels but in my mind, if no where else, Anya struck me as the personification of Russia during Stalin's rule, through the siege of Lenningrad and possibly even today. She seemed cold and bitter to those who didn't know her but had a core passion and strength that only became apparent as her story was told.

As Anya's story is told and as her daughters, Nina and Meredith, come to know and admire their mother, the reader is drawn into the era, the pain and the strength that are portayed. Anya has trouble forgiving herself for choices that were forced upon her and refuses to see in herself the power and fortiude that make her a survivor.

I loved the characters. I loved the story. I love the writing style of Kristin Hannah. This was the first of her books I have picked up but it will not be the last. Winter Garden is a story that has become a part of me.
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on March 6, 2012
I had to put this book down only because I had to go to work between turning the pages. I am NOT an avid reader, but my mom is. Last year while I was in Florida visiting my mom and dad, mom handed me this book! I'm sooo glad she did! I love this tangled web that completes a family story. I have always been facinated by the point of view that different family members have of each other - more scientifically we call it birth order ... but Kristin Hannah does a remarkable job of reminding us that there is more behind every person's eyes AND that each and every person deserves a chance to tell their story AND have it heard. I was 'moved' and struck by the fact that the father knew how important his wife's story was. As young women, we don't always 'tolerate' each other or our mothers, but this story aught to be read by every teenager (daughter), who is 'ready' to sit down and try to discover their own mother! It is incredibly well written and I will pass this book on to any daughter who will read it. Although not all of us carry this kind of pain nor strength, we all carry our own crosses. I was inspired by this book and I learned a lot about myself and my need to really 'hear' people's stories.
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on June 29, 2012
This book was an awesome book. I love Kristin Hannahs books. I was in Fort Lauderdale and was looking to find some books to relax with. I came across Night Road, oh I couldn,t put it down, and since then, I am reading all her books. She really brings her characters to life, so much so where I was constantly thinking about the storyline, and what was going to happen next, really just like a good movie where you still think about it after you have seen it.

It depicts a great storyline between a mother and her daughters, and the secret that is kept.

I would recommend this book to anyone that loves a good story. Its hard to explain really, but you will understand once you start reading, you will become so engrossed it, I can,t wait until she writes more books.

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on April 4, 2013
I could not put the book down and could not wait to hear Anya's story. I honestly can not think of one negative thing about this book and would recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind some history, crying, laughter and a little mystry. Well done Kristin Hanna. I will be reading more of your books.

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on August 3, 2016
Anya Whitson is one of the great female protagonists in a novel.
I read this book on the heels of All the Light We Cannot See (I was devastated when this book was over), in a state of being sure nothing could surpass it. I posted my dilemma on FB and this book came highly recommended. It was slow at the beginning but still kept me quite interested. By about half-way through it became massively engaging - and by the end I was solidly devastated (again) and wish it wouldn't end. It reads somewhat like a screenplay - extremely vividly and so very absorbing as a result. I'm still looking for a book to match Winter Garden.
The critics of this book say it is not original - and it's probably not and that didn't bother me one bit. Enagaging, well-written characters can many any - even if formulaic - story highly enjoyable.
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on April 21, 2012
Kristen Hannah tells the story of a mother living two lives, first a harrowing life in German invaded St. Petersburg struggling to protect two young children, contrasted with a comfortable life in modern day Yakima, Wa. - yet as distanced from the two children from her second family as she was close to the first two children. A tale of endurance, of a comeback after being pushed to the absolute breaking point. Excellent!
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on June 14, 2013
I was hooked on this book and the more I read felt I was being "pulled into the fairytale". I love how Kristin Hannah can write a book within a book. I thought this book was extremely poignant. There was so much of a story, I love the inter-reationship descriptions of her characters. I have read almost all of Hannah's books. I love the way she unravels a story.
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on May 3, 2016
I like this book from the beginning. The character of the two daughters drew me right in. I had a hard time liking the mom who was so cold; however; I knew there would be a story as to why she was this way.i found the book could have been shorter. I skipped over a lot of the fairy tale part. I always enjoy the history of Russia ....
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on September 17, 2015
a very painful emotional story to read...but one that you cannot put down...
a mother walks her daughters through another life...a life embedded with starvation and death..
a young family pulled apart through the depravations of war...
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