I absolutely loved this book! It's one of our book club reads. Warning: you will cry like a baby! You will also get a better understanding of what life was like in Russia during the Siege of Leningrad. It was beyond horrific. Boiling wallpaper and leather belts for food? Sending off all the children on trains because Stalin demanded it? But it is also a mesmerizing story about survival and most importantly the enduring love of family.
I felt like this book had a very slow start. The story is really about the past and there was too much focus on the present early on. However, by the halfway mark I was hooked and the end is worth it. When the characters in the book speak with a Russian accent so does the narrator and it really brought it to life for me in a way that simply reading would not have done. I liked the pace of Hannah's book, Nightingale, better but this is a close second.
Another of Kristin Hannah's heart wrenching stories.
In the beginning of this story, I was bored by Meridith's complacency. But as the story progresses, I get a better understanding of her character. Then I want to just hug her. The tragic story of Anya"s life and how it unfolds is remarkable as told by the author and the narrator.
I can't listen to any of Kristin Hannah's books without needing tears of my own.
It's so easy to judge people by the way they act and not knowing the road they have walked. This is a beautiful story that not only chronicles the bonds of family but the history that affects us all. Great story.
I have not read the print version but after listening to the audio version and the incredible performance by Susan Ericksen, I can't imagine getting the same emotional response from print.
That "a ha" moment when Nina and Merideth connect the dots..... no spoiler alert here.
Kristin Hannah has become one of my favorite authors. Each of her stories leaves me spell bound. I laugh, I cry and become so caught up in the story I feel as I'm living it. I first listened to "The Nightengale" thinking this has to be her best work. Then, "Firefly Lane" and "Fly Away" and realized these are as good or better. I was almost afraid to listen to "Winter Garden", fearing it would disappoint in light of the others but no, it was as good or better.