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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Winter Garden Revisited

Hello everyone and happy Sunday!


It's been about a week and I am enjoying your comments about Winter Garden.  I will now blather on about my thoughts on the book.


I found it easy to read but difficult in the way I have found Kristen Hannah's books.  The suspense of what is going to happens makes me hesitate to continue but then I can't put the book down for long.  I probably wouldn't read it again because I usually don't do that either.   I thought the story very believable until the end when they went to Alaska and met up with her daughter.  As a friend of mine used to say about such stories: it was pure manipulation.  (Does anyone know if there is a large population of Russian families in Alaska? ) But then again it did wrap up the story all nice and tidy.  That is the only problem I had with this book in relationship to real life - it's not always so tidy and usually not very neat.  


I know from reading Still Alice that there is proof that a person has Alzheimers but when Anya started losing her mind, all I could think about was whether she had the gene?  If not, how many people are diagnosed that are just 'going a little crazy' for the time being.  


Just a little about the siege of Leningrad - I am so blessed!  I can't fathom the depth of hurt something like that could do to me.  I remember encountering a woman who was in Auschwitz and had a tattooed number on her forearm.  I had no clue what that tattoo was.  Just thinking about the depth of hatred of one group of people against another is foreign to me.  In reading Unbroken and the short paragraphs about the 'Rape of Nanking' took me back to what we had read about Leningrad.  It just gives me the creeps and I feel blessed and empathy for those who live through such trauma.  As my dear husband would say - Man's inhumanity to Man.  


Although Anya is a very damaged woman, I don't really like her.  My thought is that she struggled so hard to hold all those emotions inside and away from her daughters that she was in the end, dishonest with them throughout their father's life. She allowed/required him to carry all the emotion while she remained bottled up.  Of course if she had relayed all the history to her daughters while they were children it would be a different book.  


My thoughts on the sisters:  Meredith was a Martha - running around trying to make sure everything was perfect for her family, obsessively.  Then missing out on things by not  being 'present' in the moment.  Nina was searching for female unity 'away from home' when she probably could have found feminine beauty in her own backyard.  


Do any of you have any additional comments about the book?  


I am enjoying Unbroken and hope you have located a copy to read.  


Til next time,
Barbara



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