Again I find my talents lacking. I am unable to transform my feelings about this book into satisfactory words. Why is it that when I really like a book all I can come up with is, "I really like this book."? (I know the punctuation is wrong in that last sentence, but I punctuated it the way I thought it should be for what I was saying.)
Maybe if I ask myself some probing questions I'll be able to better define my thoughts and feelings. Who was the book about? Who did I identify with? Who did I like and who did I not like?
The story starts out being about Meredith, one of 2 sisters of a cold, insensitive mother but then it expands to include her mother's & sister's stories, as well. The setting is an apple orchard located on the Columbia River. The father's death brings the sisters and their mother together to confront their differences and buried pains. Before the father died he pleaded with the youngest daughter, Nina, to make their mother tell them her story.
I didn't really identify with any of the characters but I grew to like them and sympathize with their journeys. Early on in the book I contemplated quitting because I didn't want to drudge through sibling rivalries and Meredith's tough exterior but I wanted to know the mother's story. Why was she so cold and hurtful to her daughters both in the present and when they were younger.
What was the mother's story? What could possibly have happened to her that could make her daughters forgive and love her? It was this question that kept me reading and I'm so glad I did.
That's all the questions I'm going to answer because I want you to read this book as I did - without knowing too much about it. Learning about the mother without knowing ahead of time was a good thing, I think. That's not to say if you know where the story's heading that you shouldn't read it. You should.
I like books that entertain as well as educate. This one did both. And it made me count my blessings on many different fronts. I read Winter Garden for my church's f2f reading group even though I knew I wouldn't be able to attend the discussion.