I love when books I am reading magically intersect each other.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Meredith and Nina are sisters, daughters of Anya, their Russian-born mother who doesn't look them in the eye, hug them or share any part of herself. Meredith and Nina survive their childhood and Nina becomes an award-winning photojournalist, documenting tragedies all over the world and working on her pet project, photos of amazingly strong women of all nations. Meredith has stayed close to home, married her childhood sweetheart, and runs the family's apple orchard business. Their father, Evan, the loving bond that holds them all together is dying."The minutiae had consumed the whole."
On his deathbed, Evan makes his daughters promise to take care of their mother and to get to know her. The only time she has opened up to them is through her fairy tales, of which Meredith refuses to listen, ever since a heartbreaking incident when she was young and tried to act the stories out during a Christmas evening. Her mother exploded and put an end to all her hard work. Now a widow, Anya is calling her daughters by different names, pulling down and boiling the wallpaper and cutting her fingers with a knife.
After a short stint in a retirement home (for which she packed a bag of leather belts and butter), both girls redouble their efforts to find out who Anya really is. Nina relentlessly hounds her to retell the fairy tale of their youth. Although Meredith is determined to stay out of it, she is drawn to the magic of her mother's voice and the memories of the only times in her childhood that she had her mother's attention.
"It's a tearjerker, but the journey is as lovely--and haunting--as a snow-filled forest," promises People magazine on the front cover of this amazing book that I bought from my last bookfair and squirreled away for summer vacation. Boy, they weren't kidding. Riding around in the backseat of the truck yesterday, I was glad to be in my own ipod/dark sunglasses world as Anya relieved any mother's nightmare (think Sophie's Choice . . . shudder, shudder). I finished the book tonight, hidden away from the family, and quietly shared my grief with the dark night. It was a beautiful story and one I can't wait to pass on. In the past, I would have saved it to give to my Gram. She loved romance novels. She lives only in my heart these days, so I think I'll give it to my sis-in-law, Kris. She loves this stuff too. Thanks for listening and pick up a copy of Winter Garden. You won't be sorry.