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Winter in Full Bloom [Kindle Edition]

Anita Higman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Lily Winter's wings are folded so tightly around her daughter that when empty nest arrives, she feels she can no longer fly. But Lily's lonely, widowed life changes in a heartbeat when she goes to visit a woman who is almost a stranger to her-a woman who also happens to be her mother. During their fiery reunion, her mother reveals a dark family secret that she'd been hiding for decades-Lily has an identical twin sister who was put up for adoption when they were just babies.

 Without looking back, Lily-with her fear of flying-boards a jumbo jet and embarks on a quest to find her sister which leads half way around the world to Melbourne, Australia. Befriended by imprudent Ausie, he might prove to be the key to finding her sister. But her journey becomes a circle that leads her back home to attempt a family reunion and to find the one dream she no longer imagined possible-the chance to fall in love again.

Editorial Reviews


"Imagine being raised by a mother who always remains distanced and restrained, even into your adulthood.  Imagine a mother who doesn't rejoice and melt into an emotional mess when you make her a grandmother.  Imagine a grandmother who doesn't dote as your only child grows strong, beautiful, kind as she approaches her teens.  As the years pass and the rift between the two of you grows, a rift you've never understood, would you try one more time for answers, or would you just dismiss your previous life as something done and over?

Many of us would bury that past and embrace the work, child, and faith that have brought security and happiness to our lives, even if that life was scarred.  Lily, however, decides to confront her mother one more time... You must read Anita Higman's new contemporary novel Winter in Full Bloom, a suspenseful story about family, and the difficulties of overcoming mistakes made in the past.  You'll be caught up in Lily's questions that surround the unknown and the rush to find answers, as well as the emotional fragility of the other sister abandoned years before by her mother. 

...a delightfully, imaginative journey, peppered with surprises, wit, and well, good writing."

-Review by Sue Wendt

Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman, I enjoyed this book. The setting in Australia made it more interesting. Although some parts of it were predictable, the author did manage to surprise me with some of the twists of the plot. I enjoyed the unfolding story and the revelation of the author's characters. I would recommend this to those readers who enjoy a novel laced with some romance.  4 out of 5 Stars

-Review by Karen Britton, Net Galley, October 19, 2013

Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman is a story about how Lily Winter learns to let go of her fears and hurts and experiences living. You will fall in love with the characters and laugh and cry with them. I could imagine each and every place that was mentioned it this book. I have read several of Anita Higman's book and I love her writing style, whether it be in her non-fiction as well as her fiction books.  Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

-Review by Rebecca Lewis, Librarian, October 24, 2013

Winter in Full Bloom is a story of how people respond to the hurts they experience in their lives. Sadly, they were hurt - mostly - by family members, the very people they should have been able to trust. As a result, they've become something less than they were created to be, often with a lack of self-worth. . . I totally understood the relationship between Lily and her mother due to circumstances in my life. But the biggest 'lesson' I took from this novel was about trust and learning to trust again. We need to take a flying leap (pun intended) as Lily did, and let His arms catch us. If you're looking for a beautiful novel about a life reborn, I heartily recommend this one.

--Proverbial Reads, August 27, 2013

"The cover on Winter in Full Bloom is absolutely the most beautiful cover I have ever seen. To add to that, if you move it under a light, you can see the snow falling ~ if you have a little of Irish wonder, that is!

...I really like how the back story is written, telling the passenger across the aisle on the long airplane crossing to Melbourne. A seasoned traveler, young Jenny replaces the jitters of flight for Lily Winter by listening to the remembering and experience of the telling. Lily gets settled in her hotel and immediately goes to St. Paul's Cathedral; the only clue she has to locate her sister. As she is pondering in the park, perchance another "Texan" arrives...

Marcus mentions he attends services at St. Paul's and does some volunteer work for them ~ which would put him there at irregular hours too. But... sleuthville ~ IF he knew of Lily's sister, who happens to be her identical twin from description given her, wouldn't he have called her "Camille"?

I am sure you will want to find out too how this emerges. Will she go back to Texas empty-hearted or... is Melbourne her new city?"

-Kathleen E. Belongia


Praise for Winter in Full Bloom

 Winter in Full Bloom will grab your attention right away and it won't let go until you finish each satisfying word. Anita Higman has written a beautiful story with well-rounded characters that reminds us what it means to be family.

-Kristin Billerbeck, author of The Scent of Rain

At a poignant crossroads in her life, Lily Winter heads off to Australia to track down a family secret, armed only with a clue given by her mother, an eerily cold woman. In Melbourne, Lily finds who she was looking for, aided by a handsome stranger with a few skeletons in his own closet. But she ends up with more questions than answers and her faith is tested in ways she never expected. The results transform not only Lily but her entire family.

With a touch of humor, romance, and heartache, Anita Higman pens a beautifully written story of hope and healing drawn from the lives of wonderfully complex characters. Winter in Full Bloom will stay with you long after you read the last page.

- Suzanne Woods Fisher, bestselling author of Stoney Ridge Seasons


Anita's Australian-inspired novel is as warm as a koala, creative as a platypus, and filled with more twists and turns than a billabong. G'read, love!

-James Watkins, award-winning author of thirty books including Writing with Banana Peels


Winter in Bloom had me from the first paragraph. Why is this woman who hates flying on a plane headed for Australia? Then throw in trying to redeem her truly dysfunctional family, and Anita Higman's heroine will capture your heart.

-Neta Jackson, bestselling author of The Yada Yada Prayer Group series and its sequels.


Product Details

  • File Size: 2759 KB
  • Print Length: 305 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0802405800
  • Publisher: River North; New Edition edition (July 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BV0FK6W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,938 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
When I agreed to review Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman, I had several ideas of what I was getting into. Let me just tell you: All of my pre-conceived ideas about this book were wrong. Sure, I assumed it would be good (otherwise, why read it?!), but beyond that, I didn't have a clue! (As a total side note, despite my assumptions based on the cover, this book is a contemporary novel. Not sure why assumed it was a historical novel ...)

Lily's story begins with a somewhat comical account of her flight to Australia. She's nearly panic-stricken, and her 5-year-old seatmate begins chatting her up to help her calm down. Lily's fear was nearly palpable, but the conversation had me chuckling aloud. At this point, I realized that Higman was going to give me a different story than what I initially expected--and that it was going to be quite the roller coaster.

As the story progressed, I was impressed with several things. First, the setting. Wow. Of course, Australia seems exotic to most everyone, but after reading this book, it's been added to my "must visit" list. Higman's really makes Australia come alive with little details like how to pronounce "Melbourne" and descriptions of common foods. Then there are the characters. Each one had such distinct personalities but they never seemed flat or "cartoonish" (as sometimes happens when emphasizing one or two specific traits). Instead, as the story unfolded, I grasped more of who they were and why they acted certain ways. I even began liking characters more as I read more because I understood the whys behind some of their flaws. This is one of the few first-person narratives where I felt like the other characters were just as lifelike and completely developed as the one telling the story.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just couldn't hold my interest..... August 26, 2013
After ten years of separation, Lily attempts to reconcile with her mother. A shocking revelation sends Lily on a trip to Australia to find the sister she never knew. In Melbourne, Lily meets Marcus, a Texan turned Aussie with a secret heartbreak of his own. Her hopes of a long-overdue reconciliation with her mother may come true, unless it backfires and destroys her second chance at love.

The concept of this novel is a promising one. A family secret surfaces after decades; a young widow travels around the world and finds love while reuniting with her long-lost sister. The first half of the novel follows this admirably. The story was engaging and the characters appealing. Somehow, the tone of the second half changed everything. The dialogue became histrionic and the situations worthy of a soap opera. Without adding spoilers, all I can say is that a mature woman of Camille's age would not react the way that she did, while her situation was explained in a manner to make it palatable to readers of Christian fiction, instead of taking the chance of a character having human flaws.

With all due respect to the author, this novel had my attention but lost it.

3 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Group book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <[...]> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read October 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Winter in Full Bloom is a book about the healing of dysfunctional family relationships, the redemptive power of love and forgiveness and the pleasures of new romance. Subtle humor blends well with the deep emotions of hurt and sadness. Anita Higman's descriptions of the Australia makes the reader yearn to get on a plane and see firsthand the setting she writes about. Heart-warming characters and interesting plot twists grip the reader to the end of the book and this reader hopes for more about these characters.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far from predictable! February 28, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I can’t start this review without first mentioning the gorgeous cover of Winter in Full Bloom! Cover art is, in my opinion, one of the most important aspects of marketing a book. I DO judge a book by its cover—initially. That’s what makes me pick it up and read the blurb to see if the story will interest me.

With that said, I must say the story did not disappoint. I found it charming, entertaining, unpredictable, and fulfilling. The characters are well fleshed-out, and the first person account wasn’t flat or limiting. Anita Higman tells a full story that left me rewarded, and yearning to read more of her work.

Lily Winter, a widow and recent empty nester, finds out a shocking secret her mother has kept from her for over three decades, and travels to Australia in search of answers. She is a likable main character and I was able to get into her head. Her relationship with her distant mother is potent and it doesn’t take effort to sympathize with her roller coaster of emotions. The secondary characters make the story full, the settings (Texas and Australia) are palpable, the storyline keeps its focus, and the author has a beautiful way of lilting metaphorical language throughout, without overdoing it.

With a core of faith, relationships, romance, and redemption, this story moved me. It’s anything but predictable!

Cover: Love it

Title: Love it

Publisher: Moody Publishers

Pages: 305

First Lines: I sat on a 747, trying to talk myself out of a panic attack.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a Review Copy free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Smiling
I really enjoyed reading this story. It's been on my kindle for a while. I was looking for something to read on an airline flight. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Greyhoundmom
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and awe inspiring
This book tugged at my heartstrings in so many ways from the sibling seperation, childhood abuse to the empty nest. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Terri
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I'm just not into fiction, but it is an engaging book, and clean.
Published 4 months ago by Rachel Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly Beautiful!
Anita Higman has penned an amazingly beautiful, heartrending contemporary story of healing and redemption, as one woman's journey to find her twin sister in Melbourne, Australia,... Read more
Published 4 months ago by DianaFlow
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice if this is your genre
Over written chic lit.
Published 5 months ago by Peggy Lundquist
1.0 out of 5 stars meh
Kind of cheesy and predictable. Christian chick lit with some interesting insights into families and overseas travel to Australia. Just ok.
Published 5 months ago by Lisa D. Seidel
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Boring
A twins story that was mostly just boring. Don't have anything positive to say. I finished it but found it just boring.
Published 6 months ago by Ann Coster
3.0 out of 5 stars Good general plot line, but I had a hard time caring about the...
The IDEA of this story is original and I thought I'd really enjoy the novel - Instead, I was rolling my eyes a the dialogue (veers from weirdly formal to downright corny) and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Tah_Dah
3.0 out of 5 stars three stars
I chose this book because of all the great reviews on Amazon, but for me it didn't live up to the hype. I had a hard time with Lily. She is 39 but acts 70, and spews a lot of corn. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jayne
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story in need of editing
This story of a widow searching for her twin in Australia could have been so much better with good editing. Read more
Published 7 months ago by S. Andrews
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More About the Author

Award-winning author, Anita Higman, has twenty-five books published (several coauthored) for adults and children, and she has been honored as a Barnes & Noble Author of the Month for Houston. Anita has a BA degree, combining communication, psychology, and art. Her favorite things include exotic teas, movies, and all things Jane Austen. To contact Anita or enter her monthly contest for a free signed book please visit her website at

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