Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman

cover: winter in full bloom

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 -- that is, if she can get past the strange housekeeper named Dragan, who appears to guard her mother's solitude.  What she finds at that fateful meeting will send her on a whirlwind trip to Australia to seek a sister she never knew about. If she finds the sister, could there possibly be a family healing and reconciliation, or will she find herself again set aside and alone?  You must read Anita Higman's new contemporary novel Winter in 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.

The book begins with a precocious ten year old girl noticing Lily's apparent fear of flying as the plane to Australia taxis for take off.  Her questions and advice make Lily think of a miniature psychiatrist, one to whom Lily easily reveals her tale of woe and mystery.  While reading this chapter, I couldn't help but smile, not because Lily's dreadful childhood and her new discovery were funny, but because I knew Anita Higman was going to take me on a delightfully, imaginative journey, peppered with surprises, wit, and well, good writing. Treat yourself and read this book.
I received a copy of this novel from LitFuse for review purposes.  All opinions are mine.

 To learn more about Anita Higman check out her website.  To read other reviews, check out this blog tour reviewing Anita's book.

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