A Spell of Winter: WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

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A Spell of Winter: WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

A Spell of Winter: WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION

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Description

Their father is housed in an asylum and their mother is a figure of local scandal who lives in France. Unsettling love and stifled horror create and then destroy the claustrophobic world of this lush, literary gothic set in turn-of-the-century England.

No one means Cathy ill, and their own motives are generally good and reasonable, but the girl is deeply hurt by all of them. When Cathy finds herself alone in the mansion, everyone else long gone, nature starts to reclaim it, room by room.

Even the protagonist, Catherine, whose perspective we follow from start to finish, feels detached from her own narrative. A Spell of Winter is the kind of book whose pages turn easily, not because of a compelling story or entrancing characters, but because Dunmore weaves a soft, dreamlike tale of first love and guilty secrets. I appreciate ambiguity that can go one way or another, but too many possibilities leaves a story feeling unfinished, imo.

I also completed two novels; fortunately neither survives, and it was more than ten years before I wrote another novel. An established and creatively realised plot and characters who seem to step forth from the page, it also has the best sex scene I've ever read in any book (and I've read a lot of both books and sex scenes!I am reviewing this after Goodreads recommend I read it - just shows how spot on they are at assessing your reading tastes because I think you will see from this review, I loved this one.

I’ve found the book lingering in my thoughts ever since I finished it, but I still wish she’d stick with the gothic vibes. I bought it after the book blogger Simon Savidge and his wonderful mother, Louise Savidge, started reading past winners of the Women's Prize for Fiction. You gotta have a long attention span for this one and a good eye for detail, both of which I can have when I'm suitably interested, but this one just didn't do it for me. I had such a strange reaction to this book: I loved this more than anything I have read in a long time, but when I started thinking about writing this review, I had the hardest time putting my finger on why.

Catherine and her brother Rob do not understand why they have been abandoned by both their parents, or know where their mother has gone. Set largely in the build up to WWI, the story is narrated by Catherine, a young woman who feels increasingly cut off from the outside world. A Spell of Winter is a 1995 literary gothic novel [1] by Helen Dunmore, set in England, around the time of World War I.

Dunmore presents the reader with a masterpiece of characterization full of human intrigue and desperation, and this is the area in which she succeeds without question.

That said, the element that I enjoyed the most was the atmospheric Gothic touch that turns nearly everything from Cathy’s childhood slightly sinister. The house and characters are both occupied by dark secrets and watching the evolution/aftermath which is derived from them makes for compulsive reading. Kate, the young woman who attends to both children and the house’s upkeep (among other household staff), is dedicated to her duties but longs for a life of her own in which she’s entitled to more than a leaking attic bedroom. My father was the eldest of twelve, and this extended family has no doubt had a strong influence on my life, as have my own children.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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