Hannah, Kristin. Winter Garden. St. Martin’s Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0312364120 394 pp. $
This story of two sisters with a very cold and distant Russian mother opens in 1972, with mom getting upset when the sisters try to retell one of the fairy tales she tells them in play format at a Christmas party. Flashforward to the year 2000, and the dad, who is the lynchpin of the family, is ailing, and insists that his oldest daughter Meredith promise to get to know her mother. She and her globetrotting photographer sister Nina accomplish this by pushing their mother to finish sharing a particular fairytale about a peasant girl who falls in love with a prince.
The writing is notable only for containing too much description (down to what each character is wearing) and Mere is defined as having a Julia Roberts look to her. This may be a pet peeve of mine, but I HATE when authors do this! A. the reader may not know who the celeb is; B. the celeb may not be relevant in a few years, and C. inability to describe your characters on their own merits doesn’t signal great writing.