For my book club, I read Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah.
This book was too long. Not that I don’t like long books. Rather, there was not enough story for 391 pages. It didn’t feel like it was really getting started until around page 200. And for goodness sake, I do not need to know the contents of every meal and what every character is wearing and you only need to tell me our suffering women feel like they are going to fall apart one or two times, not one or two times every few pages.
The last 100 pages do a pretty good job of redeeming this book, so I don’t really know how many stars to give it. I’m wavering between three and four, so I guess I’d rate it 3.5.
I’ll admit, there were a few parts of the Russia story that had me tearing up a bit. And the ending was, though improbable, still beautiful. I think the author should have just written a historical fiction novel and left out most of the family drama. It’s the Russian story that makes this book.
In fact, in the interview with the author at the back, she said that when she was drafting, she began with alternating chapters of family drama and the Russian story, but the Russian story was more compelling, so she changed it up.
I think she should have taken it as a sign and gone the other way with it.