Winter Garden

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah Book Summary

Can a woman ever really know herself if she doesn't know her mother?

From the author of the smash-hit bestseller
Firefly Lane and True Colors comes Kristin Hannah's powerful, heartbreaking novel that illuminates the intricate mother-daughter bond and explores the enduring links between the present and the past

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time—and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya's life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother's life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah Book Reviews

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- Mothers daughters4 star

Interesting mother child interaction on many levels. Interesting Russian history involved.

- Worth reading5 star

A Heartbreaking but wonderful story.

- Lovely story5 star

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I absolutely recommend it.

- Great book must read5 star

I like the historical aspect of the story, creating a believable family tragedy

- Excellent read5 star

Love reading about the people during the war times.

- Wonderful5 star

Very surprised at the negative reviews. It took me a bit to get into it but I ended up loving it

- Couldn’t finish. Too boring.1 star

200 pages in and it’s a drawn out saga of two boring sisters. I thought it was a book of World War Two but maybe it takes a very long time to get here.

- Just awful1 star

Terrible writing and insufferable , one dimensional characters

- Appropriate2 star

Depressing a repetitive. I keep waiting for something new to happen.

- Wth?1 star

I fell in love with this author after reading The Nightingale! Her writing is amazing! I felt for every character! This one is a much different story. The characters are not relatable. The fairy tales are just unemotional. Hard to make a connection to any event in the book. Book totally falls flat to the writer’s potential. I do suggest her books “The Great Alone,” and “Firefly Lane.”

- Great Read4 star

I enjoyed the book

- Winter Garden5 star

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read! I often think of the characters and the unimaginable hardships of WW2 ! This author has written a beautiful book I will never forget!

- Just stick to the fairytale2 star

I loved the historical fiction in this book and the fairytale had me hooked. However the story of the mom and her daughters fell completely flat and was a total waste to me.

- The winter garden5 star

The most beautiful book I have ever read. Could not put it down. The story and the way the author writes will leave you spellbound.

- Could. Not. Put. It. Down.5 star

I just love Kristin Hannah, her writing and story telling is so beautiful. Just when you think you have it figured out she takes your heart for another turn. Winter Garden was an amazing story of love, bravery, dreams and perseverance, I couldn’t put it down. I finished it moments ago at my sons basketball practice and was crying in the lobby. I will forever hold these characters in my heart, I’m going to miss them.

- Loads of typos4 star

Spell check would be a worthwhile investment for this publisher. At least a dozen typos that I found. Great book otherwise.

- Could not put this book down!5 star

I have read almost all of Kristin Hannah’s books and it’s so hard to pick a favorite. Each book is better than the last! I really loved this book and would highly recommend it!

- Great5 star

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very heartfelt and inspiring read.

- Winter Garden5 star

Absolutely beautiful! Loved this book so much! Great read just sorry it's over!

- Winter Garden5 star

After reading The Nightingale, I was hungry for more stories about strong women. I got this in Winter Garden, I read the whole book in 2 days and couldn’t put it down. My only complaint is that the last chapter seems a little too much like a perfect ending. Still gets 5 stars from me though. I will be reading more from Kristin Hannah.

- Loved it5 star

Loved this book! I couldn't put it down!

- Winter Garden5 star

One of the best books I've read. Could not put it down.

- Winter Garden5 star

This is a great book. Such an interesting plots with lots of surprises! Kristin Hannah has a great way of weaving the story together. Spell binding!

- Winter Garden1 star

So boring I couldn't finish it. Nothing was happening.

- Loved it!4 star

As the mom to a young daughter who enjoys history, I really enjoyed this book. Like others have said, the story makes you go through so many emotions and I kept trying to think of what I'd do in Vera's shoes. I felt that the beginning dragged a little and I didn't really care too much for Meredith and Nina's characters, but I quickly fell in love with Vera and her story. Definitely recommend!

- Love/heartache5 star

Amazing read...cried & heartache at the choices that had to be made. Then to realize that people actually lived this life.

- So Moving!5 star

Couldn't put it down. So awesome.

- Awesome book!5 star

I couldn't put this one down! Kristin Hannah never disappoints!

- WinterGarden5 star

Loved this book. Once I started to read it I did not want to put it down. One of the best I have read in a while.

- Winter Garden5 star

Great book.

- Winter Garden5 star


- Winter Garden5 star

First Kristin Hannah book and definitely not my last! I couldn't put this book down! I read the entire thing in one day!

- Beautifully written5 star

This writer has a gift. The character's emotions in this book literally leap off the pages in to your heart. Definitely a tear jerker that takes you on an emotional ride! If you are looking for a light read this isn't it. If you are looking for a book to get lost in for hours at a time... This is it.

- Beautifully written and haunting5 star

I was so sad that this story had to end. Loved the characters. I listened to it on audio and was completely blown away by the narrators accents. I felt like I was a part of the story. Kristen Hannah is such an incredible writer.

- Amazing story5 star

Heartbreaking story! Starts out a little slow. However, once it sped up I could not put it down and what an AMAZING twist at the end. I love how Hannah seamlessly wove Russian history into the novel. A must read!

- Love It!5 star

This is my favorite book by Kristin Hannah!

- Winter Garden5 star

I loved this book. You fall in love with each character and can vision each of them as you read. Bravo!

- Love5 star

Loved it!!

- Easy Can't put down book.5 star

I read Firefly Lane by others reviews, and I liked the book so I wanted to read another Kristin Hannah book. I chose this one, even though the description didn't really stand out. I could not put this book down. It truly is a page turner that keeps you wanting to know more and what is going to happen. The ending is beautiful and I recommend this anyone who wants a good book. Like another reader, I have a strained relationship with my mother, and my father used to say the same thing to me when he was dying. It outs into perspective that you may be hurting just as much as the personal next to you and never know why. but this book, you will not be disappointed.

- Winter Gardens5 star

I loved this book. It's premise and characters are unique. The fact that it imparts so much historical information along with the personal stories intertwined with it is very captivating.

- Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah5 star

This is my favorite novel by Kristen Hannah. I have Russian roots and enjoyed learning more historical facts about Russia. Excellent storyline! Kristin writes in a way that draws you into the story and evokes incredible emotions. Great ending!

- A must read5 star

Winter Garden is a book that lingers in your soul once you've read it. An amazing tale of love and survival. Simply one of the best books I have read in quite some time.

- Absorbing5 star

If you are a daughter who has had a rather strained relationship with your mother and don't understand why she is the way she is, read this book. It won't excuse her, but you will realize that everyone has a past they can't reconcile or explain...some things are better left unsaid. In this story, however, the author graciously allows us entrance into this mothers horrific past and the whole family comes away with love, acceptance and more importantly, forgiveness. A wonderful read, completely absorbing and while some parts are exceptionally hard to get through, you can't put it down without examining yourself through it all. Insightful!

- A story to read5 star

I loved this book from the moment I started reading it. I couldn't stop reading I even took it to parties. This book is hearbreaking, warm, and captivating. It showcases how the events that happen throughout your life will shape you as a person. The end was a little bittersweet but more sweet than bitter.

- Makes you take a look at yourself5 star

This book will make you look at your own trials and understand how insignificant they truly are.

- Reads like a true story4 star

Starts off slow but once you are further into the "reading"you will find it very hard to put down this great tale ... Can't wait to read another book by this author. Night Road was my other favorite of hers.

- Just wonderful!5 star

This story is amazing and transport the reader in this past and present, and complicate parents/children relation. Also, loved the writing style of Kristin Hannah!! Look forward to read another novel. Thanks for the voyage. Sabrina

- Moved me5 star

I don't get too emotional with most books. This one blew me away with so many emotions. Just finished reading it and I'm teary eyed from how great the ending was. Definitely a good read.

- Winter Garden5 star

Awesome! My very favorite book of the year, and surely to read it over and over again.

- Winter Garden4 star

Slow starting, but worth sticking with it. Turns out to be absolutely captivating!

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Estelle D. - Winter garden5 star

I read the Great Alone also, this woman is one of the best story tellers I have read,and I have been reading for fifty years. Stories that really grab you, very profound and you know they have been lived for real by someone. Tears run down your cheeks as you read. Thank you Hannah, I will read more of your books

saraashley2019 - Amazing book5 star

I feel changed after reading this book. I could not stop reading.

SCB86 - Well done once again.5 star

This book is absolutely beautiful. What an amazing story and such a fantastic way to tell it. Kristin Hannah is a master at crafting beautiful and believable characters. They are so real and human that suffer with them, laugh with them and you're sure to miss them when you close the book for the last time. This book had me in tears more than once. A wonderfully crafted work of art.

Tgje - Heart wrenching5 star

This is a fantastic story. Well worth the read

Taylin18 - The Winter Garden5 star

I am absolutely speechless. There are no words to describe this. Amazing work, again, Kristin!

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Vchayes07 - Addicting!5 star

Winter Garden was the first book I read by Kristin Hannah and I have been in love with her writing ever since!! This story is honest and amazing. I love stories with a historical background and this book does just that! It had me sucked in from the fist page and I loved every page!

NewbieRamtic - Great reading5 star

I found it difficult to put this book down. It made me cry, smile, sad and happy. It also made me take a look at my own life; for the better. I found myself totally wrapped up in the story; thinking about it at odd times of the day. This is a must read.

ALG2011 - One of My Faves5 star

Couldn't put this book down. Tears fell, my heart ached for the characters... and then the joy of togetherness came in the end. A beautiful story that will leave you wanting to visit Leningrad.

ISQ - Winter Garden. By Kristin Hannah5 star

This is obe of the best books I've ever read! Even when a character made you exasperated, you have drive to know and understand why they feel and behave the way they do"and you are definitely Not disappointed when you get the answers! so heart wrenching and enlightening. Learned so much

Guapoganda - ...5 star

Love this novel!!!!!!!

DenSan18 - Winter Garden5 star

Outstanding. An amazing story of strength, love, hope, and survival.

Sassesarah - Amazing5 star

Kristin Hannah at her best!! Make sure you grab a box of tissues before reading this book!! Wow

Sarah1007 - Awesome!5 star

I can think of the last time I was so touched by a book. It was slightly slow to start but by half way through I just couldn't put it down. A wonderful story about sisterhood, motherhood, loss and love. This book is a hard one to follow.

Fan of reading - Winter Garden5 star

What a great book! Best book I've read in awhile. Didn't want it to end.

Mama to Max - Greatness!!5 star

I bought this book because we went to a college bowl game and the lady next to us was reading it DURING the game. My husband was appalled, I couldn't wait to read it!! Clearly if someone would pay a nice ticket price to go to the game and read this book it must be GOOD! Instantly I was glued. I love history and I am a mom and a I would visualize from different vantage points. It captivated me! I highly recommend this book!

Nastunia - Winter garden5 star

Could not put this book down. Loved it.

Cheryl bain - Winter garden5 star

This is simply one of the best books and the first books i completed.

elisamao - A must read!5 star

This is the best book I have read and I am usually not a leisure reader. The fairy tale is so vivid you feel like you are there in the war zone and can feel Anya's pain. Definitely recommend this book!

By LaCrosse WI Reader - Winter Garden5 star

Great book!! Must read!!

Chathamfnp - Winter Garden5 star

This is one of the most gripping novels I have read in a long time.

Minnesota Reader - Winter Garden5 star

One of Hannah's finest books. An emotional book, which had me crying and rejoicing all within the same chapter. I couldn't put this one's characters will be with me for days to come. This book also incorporated history on a topic that is rarely mentioned anymore. It's a must read.

magss03 - Awesome5 star

I'm not a huge leisure reader unless it's something that really strikes my interest! Winter Garden was THE best book I've ever read the story pulled you in and really made you feel like you were in the story! This book had me constantly thinking and guessing about what would come next! It is a must read!

The gaughans - Couldn't put it down!5 star

I loved every page of this book! The history of this story was captivating along with the characters! One of my favorites by far.

Mimi Cotten - Winter Garden5 star

What can I say but. You have to read this book. You will not be able to put it down. Amazingly written.. It will make you laugh, cry, and really think about who You are ...

SpeedyMel - amazing!5 star

Absolutely amazing! I didn't want the story to end. The story digs deep into your soul and causes every emotion to be exposed. I didn't think the author could top "Fire Fly" but she did! Great job!

dangler23 - Winter garden5 star

Amazing! Must read!

Kristin Hannah - Winter Garden Comments

About Kristin Hannah Wiki

Kristin Hannah (born September 25, 1960) is an American writer. Her most notable works include Winter Garden, The Nightingale, Firefly Lane, The Great Alone, and The Four Winds. Biography Kristin Hannah was born in California. After she graduated with a degree in communication from the University of Washington, she worked at an advertising agency in Seattle. She graduated from the University of Puget Sound law school and practiced law in Seattle before becoming a full-time writer. Hannah wrote her first novel with her mother, who was dying of cancer at the time; the book was never published.Hannah's best-selling work is The Nightingale, which has sold over 4.5 million copies worldwide and...

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