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4.0 out of 5 starsA fun read with a deeper message
Reviewed in the United States on July 30, 2019
Winters Day is a fun read about girls who just want to have fun, but it has a deeper message about codependent women who are manipulated to stay in abusive relationships because of fear and guilt. The relationship between Jolie and Dave is so realistic that I sometimes wanted to shake her and say, “No, no, no! Can’t you see what he’s doing to you!” The story is full of fun – and not so fun – characters and lots of good dialogue that keeps the story lively. The reason I’m not giving Winters Day 5 stars is because of some pacing issues in the beginning, an ending that “tells” more than it “shows,” and some grammatical errors that could be easily corrected with a careful line edit. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would highly recommend this book.
5.0 out of 5 starsFrom suffering comes . . .everything
Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2017
DM Wolfenden offers a suspenseful story, perfect for this time of year, about a woman who sees a shadow that grows into something much darker . . .. Jolie Winters survived her mother's murder, an abusive lover. And she has the scars to prove it. Worst of all, she's lonely,craving warmth,s safety, affection . . . When more tragedy strikes near, she seeks comfort in what may be the most wrong of places. Sometimes, abuse can substitute for love, but not forever. Will Jolie realize in time that the love she's been waiting for is waiting for her? Or suffer more? Set in suburban Britain, this book exercises every human emotion a writer can evoke, even humor. A compelling story, bravely told.
4.0 out of 5 starsYOU MAY DEFINITELY FIND SOMETHING HERE
Reviewed in the United States on April 25, 2019
Set in present-day England, this compelling story and interesting cast of characters propelled me through a host of emotions, beginning with humor. At times, there are heart-felt moments regarding friendship, life-changing illness and abusive relationship issues. The author has taken on the complex human condition and all of the emotions that involves, but it was the ending that left me wanting more closure. I needed more of the loose ends to be tied up. Perhaps too many real-life issues were tackled in a small span of space, which left me wanting more. But, I do recommend this book for anyone who is going through an abusive relationship or loss of a loved one. You may definitely find something here.
4.0 out of 5 starsEngaging Plot and Characters, More than just Fun Chick-Lit
Reviewed in the United States on May 9, 2018
Winter's Day is touted as a romantic comedy, and it starts out to perfectly deliver just that. All of the chick-lit requirements were met. However, the situations turn dire, and the character's relationship situation becomes downright upsetting. Still, I was hooked and drawn in to the drama of this circle of characters. I wanted to see how things would resolve; I wanted to see her make the right choice, and repeatedly, she didn't. Yet, many of us have to watch our friends go through that, so it's pretty realistic. It seems, at the end of the book, that there is a lot left hanging. I am not upset that it at the ending; I just feel that the book touched on a lot of more serious issues that I would have liked to see resolved at the end but didn't. The characters and the situations were all compelling, and there were many times I just couldn't put the book down. It was just the ending that left me wanting more.
As a woman who's recently begun exploring online dating, I need to note that Jolie Winter's experiences were just far too relatable in a laugh-out-loud-while-cringing kind of way. This was a fun read. In fact, I put the book down to go to sleep and woke up anxious to finish it the following morning.
This story revolves around two cousins, Jolie & Debbie, who are best friends. Each has their own challenges to overcome, but find strength and support in the other. Debbie is the extrovert and jumps into relationships with ease. Jolie, while trying to find love, is hung up on an abusive ex who is adept as using emotional extortion to ensnare her back into his web. I would have liked to have seen that issue explored just a little bit more deeply. While Jolie eventually comes to her senses, it's unclear whether she ever realizes that her boyfriend's threats of self-harm are a tool of manipulation.
The author crafted genuinely likeable protagonists, adding depth to their characters by weaving in the trials and tribulations upon which their family rests. And, ultimately, for those hopeless romantics, Jolie does indeed find her true love for a happily-ever-after ending.
4.0 out of 5 starsSuch an important book it should be read by women everywhere
Reviewed in the United States on November 28, 2017
Winters day is incredible, it really is. The synopsis itself caught my eye immediately. It has it all, the drama, the romance, the heartbreak, fear, suspense, the strong heartbeat you get when you feel that connection with Jolie the main character. However, the reason I gave it a 4 star review is that the ending is too abrupt and the beginning of the story is just dragged on and out of focus. Because of the blurb and the author’s writing skills (wow she knows how to write), I knew there was a good story in there and there is, but it took a long time to get there. I can tell you that once I got there it was intense. Actually, intense is a soft word. Whoever has experienced what Jolie experiences and what her friends and family experience trying to protect her, will feel their stomach turning. It's a story of extreme inner power, of pain and of hope. I recommend the author to make some changes to the beginning because this is absolutely a good book that touches important issues and should be read by anyone who’s ever been in a relationship and every young woman who plans to be in a relationship.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 11, 2018
This is an enjoyable book. I loved the first half where Jolie's relationship with her cousin and search for love is funny and heart warming. Jolie has had problems which are revealed bit by bit but the second half of the book is a completely different beast. Jolie's abusive and controlling ex reappears and her life takes a downward spiral. I was irritated at times by Jolie's responses to her ex's behaviour but am fully aware that such reactions are sadly not unusual in relationships. Some people suffer from low self esteem and find it very difficult to walk away from abusive partners and the roots of this reluctance often can be traced back to childhood. Thus, though I was frustrated by Jolie, I felt this important subject was well handled and the author is a good writer. Of course, the drama towards the end of the book made it difficult to stop reading. I had to know the ending but I'm not giving away any spoilers!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2017
When Jolie, who works in an architect’s office, hails for a taxi after a meal out with friends, she senses a shadow waiting nearby and fearing who it is, she is frightened.
There are lots of tender moments in this book of good friendship but what Jolie really wants is to be happily in a relationship.
She is reluctant to do on line dating, despite the perseverance of her friend Debbie who eventually persuades her to put up a profile. As a veteran of the dating world myself I loved the dating scenes. They really made me laugh and cringe in equal measure. The book really hots up when she goes on a date with God fearing Carl and a pretentious wealthy guy. Carl doesn’t treat her very well and she boldly tells him 'going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car.'
While Jolie dates and has fun with friends her ex, Dave is plotting something. Trouble awaits.
The moral of this heartwarming, fun story is that we all too often search far and wide for love but often it's right under our nose!
In some ways, this book is a tale of two halves. The first fitting neatly into the romantic comedy section, the second not. Because of the themes of abuse, emotional and physical abuse, including rape, I would strongly recommend the categorisation be changed. At the beginning I found it hard to get into the story, in places it felt disjointed, jumping from one scene to the next. With mostly dialogue and little narration to paint a picture, I did struggle. As we move into the second half, the story takes off and is done well. The author portrays the awful situation Jolie finds herself in, having taken back her partner Dave, extremely realistically and sensitively. For this reason I’m finding it hard to pin down a rating but I’m going to give it four stars as I strongly believe stories that are brave enough to tackle these issue deserve recognition.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 12, 2018
Jolie Winter lives up to her name: funny and sympathetic, yet troubled inside. At a vulnerable moment for our protagonist Jolie, an abusive ex reappears on the scene. Fortunately, her happier cousin Debbie helps her through her bad choices and is a great counterpoint to Jolie’s hardships. Winters Day takes us into the deeper and darker sides of romance. Excellent writing and plot for those who are looking for more substance to a contemporary romance. A story about love in all its forms with some humour and even fun! along the way. A good story, well told. Recommended.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 13, 2018
In some ways, this is a kind of merging of styles. It has a dark chick-lit feel, with Jolie and Debbie who are cousins and best friends, and it has that drive toward a character finding their place in life. There is another side to the book, however – a descent into what it’s like to be the victim of a controlling, abusive, violent partner. The author certainly makes you feel like you’re there. So, if you’re okay with something that’s emotionally challenging, do give this a try.