I recently confessed that I have a "hit and miss" relationship status with Kristin Hannah. I'm changing that to a "Hit, miss and well, ok then" status. Guess where this falls?
Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres, especially when the history is told as a fairy tale. This tale involves Anya, and she is telling it to her daughters - Meredith and Nina. The present day story starts, however, with a glimpse into their currently unhappy family life. Dad wants to change his orchards into vineyards, Meredith is helping with the family business, Nina is running away all over Africa, and Mom doesn't do much, except sit staring at the Winter Garden.
I did enjoy the history. And the sisterly love-not-quite-hate bonds. I also liked how the story started small, as an insignificant part of their lives, and then grew to centre stage, changing them all.
I didn't like the portrayal of the mother. It was pretty unbelievable. Then the story dragged on and on, chapter after chapter of the back story. Yet, in a way, this was also the best part - telling a part of the truth concerning Leningrad in the second World War that is not often told.
The audible narration was fantastic - I do admire a great Russian accent, and the voices were distinct, unique, but not overdone.
Well, ok then. I'm glad I read it, I won't forget it, but it isn't up there with Night Road and The Nightingale or down there with Between Sisters.
A slightly above average three stars.