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The Winter of the World: A Novel Paperback – October 16, 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (October 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061238813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061238819
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.3 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,412,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A British biographer of Anne Frank (Rose of the Earth), Lee opens her fiction debut with an enormous 1920 London funeral procession for the remains of an unknown soldier. The narrative then jumps back a few months as Alex Dyer, a journalist in his early 30s, tells his story to an albino grave digger in devastated post-WWI Ypres, Belgium. At the outbreak of war in 1914, British correspondent Alex ships off to France. Ted Eden, Alex's boyhood friend and now an army officer, writes to Alex that he's married Clare, a young British nurse, after a whirlwind courtship. Upon their introduction, Alex instantly falls in love with the ethereal but troubled Clare. As the two come together, the horrors of war, including the inhumane gas attacks and brutal frontal assaults told in stark detail, rumble in the background. By turns passionate and intricate, Harper's first historical novel exhibits top-notch writing and a trio of solid characters. (Oct.)
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About the Author

Carol Ann Lee's first book, Roses from the Earth: The Biography of Anne Frank, has been translated into thirteen languages. She is also the author of The Hidden Life of Otto Frank and three books for children, Anne Frank's Story, A Friend Called Anne, and Anne Frank and the Children of the Holocaust. She lives in Yorkshire, England.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Farin on May 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
World War I is one of my favorite periods for historical fiction. There are so many different points of view for an author to tell a story, and it's rare that you'll read the same story twice.

Carol Ann Lee begins "The Winter of the World" two years after Armistice Day, at the burial of the Unknown Warrior. After this extremely moving scene (which she says she drew from actual footage), we're taken back to Ypres, where journalist Alex Dyer is writing about the conversion of the battlegrounds of Europe into proper cemeteries. He accompanies a man named Lombardi, who has a gift for drawing out secrets. Over the course of an evening, Alex relates his war experience, his frustration over not being able to fight and not being able to report the truth, and his guilt over the affair he had with his best friend Ted's wife, Clare. With Lombardi's help, Alex finds a way to redemption and, possibly, back to love.

There were two things I really loved about this novel. The first was seeing the war from Alex's point of view. Any history class you take on World War I will touch on censorship and propaganda, and it was great to get a human spin on what was a very difficult situation. There was a particularly powerful scene where the journalists argued over one writer's story that was spun to make the Germans look like godless monsters and, therefore, inspire fear and hatred at home; it really brought forward the ethical issues that journalists confronted with each story they sent for print.

The second was Ms. Lee's emotional depiction of the selection, ceremony, and burial of the Unknown Warrior.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christine on July 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
I've never read a book before that made me cry while reading the introductory chapter. The Winter of the World is beautifully written. The story, based on the state funeral of Britain's Unknown Warrior after the Great War, is fictional but does evoke the true horrors and devastation of trench warfare in WWI. Against that backdrop, Lee tells the hopeless lovestory of love lost and the despair and finally redemption that come from it. I strongly recommend it!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William F. Bellais on December 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The opening chapter of "Winter of the World" is incredibly sad. So sad, in fact, the reader is challenged to go on. Nonetheless, reading on is a great reward. Carol Ann Lee has captured as best a 21st century novel can the horror of the World War I battlefield and the terror of the trenches on the northern end of the Western Front. There is, of course, more than a war story in this novel. There is romance--the romantic urgency brought on by war. There are personal dilemmas tracing back to pre-war events and their own horrors. This is a very well written novel and as I read it I wondered how Carol Ann Lee could capture the emotion and the incredibly difficulty of the times and places in Northern France and Western Belgium in 1914 and 1915. She is a skillful writer and obviously a good researcher. The characters are real and identifiable as people I could know. I recommend this book to everyone who likes a good historical novel. This is book is especially poignant as the centennial of the beginning of World War I approaches.
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