A Spell of Winter is a gothic novel by Helen Dunmore, set in England, around the time of World War I. The novel was the first recipient of the Orange Prize. A Spell of Winter: A Novel [Helen Dunmore] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The inaugural winner of England’s prestigious Orange Prize, . “Not many novels grab the reader’s lapels with the opening sentence, but Helen Dunmore’s A Spell of Winter is surely one We plunge.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books nelen want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore. The inaugural winner of England’s prestigious Orange Prize, A Spell of Winter is a compelling turn-of-the-century tale dunmorr innocence corrupted by secrecy, and the grace of second z.
Cathy and her brother, Rob, have forged a passionate refuge against the terror of loneliness and family secrets, but their sibling love becomes fraught with danger. As Catherine fights free The inaugural winner of England’s prestigious Orange Prize, A Spell of Winter is a compelling turn-of-the-century tale of innocence corrupted by secrecy, and the grace of second chances.
A SPELL OF WINTER by Helen Dunmore | Kirkus Reviews
As Catherine fights free of her dark present and haunting past, the spell of winter that has held her in its grasp begins to break. Hardcoverpages. Orange Prize for Fiction To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Spell of Winterplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Sep 06, Brianne rated it it was ok.
Maybe because I have no brothers and thus no frame of reference to get suitably skeeved out by it. But whatever, neither here nor there. The trouble with this wintef was helej it just plain loses you. Parts of it are good – her writing style is gorgeous in places, tedious in others – and frankly, I just had a hard time keeping up with what the hell was going on.
You gotta have a long attention span for this one and a good eye for detail, both of which I can have when I’m suitably interested, but this one just didn’t do it for me.
View all 6 comments. Sep 27, Toocutedobs rated it did not like it. This book is a depressing text of the multi-generational misery of one family. I finished the book in hopes of discovery the answer to the family secrets but found no satisfaction there or anywhere else in this book. But somebody liked this book since it is a “Orange Winner” a prestigious award from England.
Winte 07, Grace Harwood rated it it was amazing. Of all Helen Dunmore’s books, this is my very favourite. I’ve read it twice and plan on reading it again because it is a truly beautifully written, haunting tale.
The chill which has taken hold of the crumbling previously grand country house and its occupants is almost tangible – you will get cold fingers just holding the book and turning the pages.
A life in writing: Helen Dunmore
An established and creatively realised plot and characters who seem to step forth from the page, it also has the best sex scene I’ve ever read in any book and I’ve read a lot of both books and sex scenes! I’ve even written a few myself. I am reviewing this after Goodreads recommend I read it – just shows how spot on they are at assessing spdll reading tastes because I think you will see from this review, I loved this one.
This haunting and evocative novel was the first Orange Prize Winner and set a high standard for future hopefuls. Helen Dunmore creates a world which is at once understandable and yet totally different. Rob and Catherine live in virtual isolation in the crumbling old house belonging to their grandfather. It is gradually revealed to us that their mother has left and is living abroad, while their father, unable to cope without her, has been admitted to a sanitorium.
We see events through the eyes o This haunting and evocative novel was the first Orange Prize Winner and set a high standard for future hopefuls. We see events through the eyes of Cathy – a young girl who so resembles her mother that her grandfather can hardly bear to look at her, while their governess, the boy hating Miss Gallagher, harbours an obsessive and unhealthy love for her.
Only Kate, the no nonsense Irish servant, brings some kind of stability to the children. As Cathy and Rob grow older, the outside world intrudes. Cathy has a suitor, in the form of a rich neighbour; while Rob has heldn beautiful Livvy – as light as Cathy is dark. Yet, Rob and Cathy are thrown together too much, with too many secrets to bind them together. This is a novel of forbidden love, family secrets and how Cathy gradually becomes a woman and learns to understand what drove her mother away.
This is a quiet and thought provoking read, which really packs a punch.
Helen Dunmore has long been one of my favourite authors and I enjoyed revisiting this early novel. Apr 13, Lezanne Clannachan rated it it was amazing.
Their mother abandons the family home when they are children and their father dies, leaving them to grow up in a decaying mansion cut off from the rest of the world.
A Spell of Winter
Their sense of isolation and dependency on each other mutates into incest. For me, that is the power of writing, right there. Of spepl powerful symbolism in the book, I was most struck by the moving boundary between what is natural and what is man-made.
When Wiinter finds herself alone in the mansion, everyone else long gone, nature starts to reclaim it, room by room. Cathy leads her governess, the monstrous Miss Gallagher, deep into the woods and frightens her to death with talk of ghosts. Concealed inside a rough hideout of snow and branches she and her brother first cross the line into a physical relationship.
Removed from the artificial construct of society, everything returns to the basics of sex and death. Dec 05, Brenda rated it really liked it Duhmore My winter excitement quickened each year with the approach of darkness. I wanted the thermometer to drop lower and lower until not even a trace of mercury showed against the figures.
BBC – Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour -A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore
I wanted us to wake to a kingdom of ice where our breath would turn to icicles as it left our lips, and we would walk through tunnels of snow spwll the outhouses and find birds fallen dead from the air. I willed the snow to lie for ever, and I turned over and buried my head under the pillow so as not to hear the chuckle and drip of thaw…. They are stories in which things are so odd and sort of awful, but you get pulled in and start to feel the weight of the events surrounding the most normal of things, like wibter eating of a piece of cheese.
Jan 03, Megan Chance rated it it was amazing. This tale of a brother and sister in the English countryside is gorgeous, uncomfortable, spll, sad and hopeful. Dunmore captures s mood and plunges you into it without mercy. It’s a bit of a demanding read–Dunmore leaps spwll time and space, her narrative mirroring the way people think, but as a result, you are immersed completely.
She doesn’t rationalize or explain away her characters’ actions, but simply presents them without judgment, and while the characters may be difficult to like, th This tale of a brother and sister in the English countryside is gorgeous, uncomfortable, lyrical, sad and hopeful.
She doesn’t rationalize or explain away her characters’ actions, but simply presents them without judgment, and while ny characters may be difficult to like, they are certainly never dull. It’s not a perfect book, but I loved it–stories with this kind of emotional heft, without melodrama, are hard to find.
I’m still thinking about it days later, and I was moved deeply by the story. Dec 17, Anneliese Tirry rated it it was amazing. Het is ook een boek spelp verlies, alle soorten verlies, van ouders, van een schijnbaar onvoorwaardelijke liefde, van een huis, van verwachtingen Voor mij 5 sterren omdat dit boek niet onder 1 noemer te vatten valt, omdat de taal zo mooi en verzorgd is, omdat de schrijfster mij soms ongemakkelijk deed heen en weer schuiven in mijn zetel, omdat ik het moeilijk kon opzij leggen.
Voor mij een aanrader! Mar 16, Helen Corcoran rated it it was amazing Shelves: The author’s name seemed really familiar to me until I realised I’d been staring at her children’s work for about a year by then, but I hadn’t known she’d written books for adults, too. This book has incest in it, but if your only experience of incest is Virginia Andrews, then you’re in for a shock because Helen Dunmore can write circles around her.
Also, it won the Orange Prize inso someone with literary power obviously thought it was good, too. D I cannot stress how amazingly beautifu The author’s name seemed really familiar to me until I realised I’d been staring at her children’s work for about a year by then, but I hadn’t known she’d written books for adults, too. D I cannot gy how amazingly beautiful the writing is – I was disgustingly jealous of it more than once while I was reading – and it’s so good that you begin to actually forget cunmore about the incest and focus on how doomed this family is by the mistakes that seem hlen repeat themselves over and over again.
I enjoyed reading this a lot wunter this probably doesn’t say as much as it should – even spelk I read a lot, there’s very few books that can make me settle down with one for hours, or make me think about it when I’m not reading it. Jelen ending is perfect and bittersweet. Sep 15, Christie rated it really liked it Shelves: A Spell of Winter concerns the lives of Cathy and Rob, siblings who live in a crumbling manor house in England.
They are on their way, with Miss Gallagher, to visit their father in the sanatorium. I look at the house, still and breathless in the frost. I have got what I wanted. A spell of winter hangs over it, and everyone has gone. Perhaps it is isolation, perhaps it is abandonment, but eventually Cathy and Rob cross the line. Their story epell me of another pair of British siblings who become lovers: With a huge house to creep around in and no one to pay splel to them helwn Kate, their trusted servant, Cathy and Rob fall into a strange spell of their own.
A Spell of Winte r has many of the Gothic hallmarks: As long as Cathy and Rob are isolated, they manage to sustain their relationship. Eventually, the real world seeps in in ways both expected and unexpected.
I loved A Spell of Winter. I was rooting for Cathy. She is abandoned many times during her life, but her resilient nature, whether through necessity heleb tenacity, keeps her going. The language is beautiful.