12 Down, 38 to Go: A Spell of Winter

Last week included 4 airplane rides which meant reading time!

I grabbed a couple of books for the road and finished A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore just as my final flight was getting close to Madison.  The book is the winner of the inaugural (1996) Orange Prize for fiction.  The prize “celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world. The winner receives a cheque for £30,000 and a limited edition bronze known as a ‘Bessie’, created by the artist Grizel Niven.”  (Source)

A Spell of Winter was one of my recent purchases at a local used book sale.  A few reviews describe the novel as gothic and full of paranoia.  My favorite descriptor is:

“Not many novels grab the reader’s lapels with the opening sentence, but this is one.  We plunge headlong into Dunmore’s dark and creepy tale, an update of such Gothic literary classics as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.”  Houston Chronicle.

I don’t want to give much of the story away because I highly recommend this book.  It takes place in England early in the twentieth century – during and immediately after World War I.  I will tell you that there is love, drama, suspense, incense, and heartache.  It really was gripping and one where I found myself needing to know what was next!

Up next is The Alice Behind Wonderland by Simon Winchester.  Simon was my seat-mate on a flight home last week and we had a delightful conversation.  He is really very interesting and I look forward to reading his books.  Lucky me, the voracious reader, to be seated next to a best-selling author.


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