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The Winter House Paperback – Import, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
Judith Lennox knows how to write a story that will keep you hooked until the end. I would recommend it!
Each girl has a dream. Robin dreams of escaping the academic fate her father has planned for her and moving to London to become involved in activist politics, to do something that makes a difference in the world. Helen dreams of having a home and family. Maia wants the security of wealth that she knew as a child, and is prepared to do what it takes to get it.
As the girls become women and pursue their dreams, each has to make choices and compromises, face hardships which test their endurance – and their friendship. The adolescent vow of celebrating milestones isn’t forgotten, but it becomes representative of the naivety – if not always innocence – of their youthful hopes, as well as the differences in their personalities, upbringing and values.
The story covers the period of the aftermath of the First World War, through the twenties and into the Great Depression and the Spanish Civil War, and ends with Europe on the brink of another war. These great events aren’t just a backdrop to the story; they play a significant part in Robin’s and Maia’s lives, while Helen’s eventual questioning of her faith is indicative of a broader wave of secularism that reflects the changing values of this time.
The Winter House is an interesting and engrossing story, easy to read and, in parts, moving. It makes me wonder why I don’t read more historical sagas.
These three friends in the time before the World War II went her ways, mostly unexpected ones through love, life and career into the dreadful battles between the Republicans and Fascists in Spain 1936/1937 where Robin follows her boyfriend and brother that both fighted on the front as part of the International Brigades against the Nationalists and Robin helped in military hospitals. Their wishes and hopes changed, beliefs and fears accompanied them trough an incredible life and the secrets they swore to share and celebrate, like their first journey abroad,drifted them apart and brought them even closer together. But in that whole dismal time Judith Lennox still finds a chance to create an great emotional romantic lovestory.
For me this novel is a must have read, it changed some of my opinions and confronted me with the fears and desires in a nearly forgotten time. Between London, Cambridge, Ely, Paris, Munich and Madrid this novel provided a great basis for a bestseller.
After having read the many positive reviews on "The Winter House" in amazon.de (Germany), I tried to read this book starting at the end of November. Finally last night I finished it (usually I finish 2 books per week).
Also I checked out Judith Lennox' website and found it fascinating that she did so much research on pre WW II Germany. That part of the book was quite well researched and interesting (and that's why I give the book 1 star).
Other than that it was the most boring book I ever read, especially the first 250 pages. Then it picks up a little, but not too much. However I will give Lennox two more chances. I'll start reading "Some Old Lover's Ghost" and my 3rd attempt will be "The Shadow Child".