We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
Winter Garden Audiobook

Winter Garden: A Novel

Regular Price:$17.40
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Audible Editor Reviews

in Kristin Hannah’s Winter Garden, we find three women — a mother and two daughters by blood, but strangers in their hearts — reeling from the loss of the man who held their fragile family together. Emptiness pervades this story — hollowing out what is left of the Whitson family and creeping into the space between narrator Susan Erickson’s words.

Anya and her daughters Meredith and Nina have already lost their husband and father to death — and risk losing each other to pride. Evan Whitson knew of this risk, and on his deathbed asked his wife to tell their daughters her “fairy tale” from start to finish. And so we find the Whitson women gathered in the dark at their family home, Belye Nochi, night after night.

Meredith is the older daughter who stayed home to take care of the family business, and her marriage is falling apart. Younger sister Nina, meanwhile, has traveled the globe as a renowned photographer, but refuses to marry the love of her life. Neither sister has much of a relationship with the other — much less with their cold and distant mother, Anya, whose mysterious past in Russia haunts them all.

Erickson’s Anya is resolute, her Nina bold, and her Meredith lost. Effortlessly, it seems, Erickson captures in one moment the decades of sorrow in Anya’s voice and in the next the ready spirit in Nina’s. Always we hear the sheer exhaustion in Meredith’s. Erickson’s voice is at times empty and full, icy and warm, sharp and soft. Throughout the book all three women are alternately devastated with loss, isolated by bitterness, and joyous for the love of family, and Erickson lets us hear it all with her honest and gentle delivery.

Winter Garden is a story best listened to — it is after all a testament to the power of storytelling. What Meredith and Nina hear in their mother’s story will cause them to face their grief head on and just might make them a family once again. —Sarah Evans Hogeboom

Publisher's Summary

From the author of the smash-hit best-seller Firefly Lane and True Colors comes a powerful, heartbreaking novel that illuminates the intricate mother-daughter bond and explores the enduring links between the present and the past.

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard: the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father fails ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time - and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya's life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago.

Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother's life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.

©2010 Kristin Hannah; (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1792 )
5 star
 (955)
4 star
 (498)
3 star
 (221)
2 star
 (74)
1 star
 (44)
Overall
4.3 (1421 )
5 star
 (805)
4 star
 (370)
3 star
 (157)
2 star
 (57)
1 star
 (32)
Story
4.4 (1419 )
5 star
 (870)
4 star
 (368)
3 star
 (129)
2 star
 (29)
1 star
 (23)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Dekabrist Tyumen, Russia 07-28-16
    Dekabrist Tyumen, Russia 07-28-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Russian Words and US blatant ignorance of WWII"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, I enjoyed listening to the book.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Ericksen’s performances?

    There are so few Russian words in the book and I can't believe that she didn't even bother to pronounce them right! The poet Anna Akhmatova -- the stress is on the second 'A', not the 'O'. Pirogi -- the stress is on the first 'i', not the 'O'. Of course, US sport announcers also have never learned to properly pronounce Maria Sharapova's name either -- the stress is on the second 'A', not the 'O'!!


    Any additional comments?

    Fortunately, the book hopefully brings to light a new side of WWII for most Americans. Unfortunately, it was a very simplified version of the the blockade of Leningrad which actually lasted for just under 900 DAYS! Instead of the daughters or the author complaining about how US schools completely ignore such major life/ country changing events like the Blockade of Leningrad (over 1 mln dead!) and the effect of WWII on Russians still today, the author makes a comment about the truth being hidden from the Soviet people. Yes, Stalin (a 100% Georgian without any Russian blood) didn't like Leningrad and memorials,etc were not promoted under his rule. However, it still is being hidden from the American people.

    I guess I would think that the daughters would be shocked that they live in a region where there are a lot of Russians and they know NOTHING about Russia or the 'Blockade of Leningrad'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda GRAND RAPIDS, MI, United States 07-13-16
    Linda GRAND RAPIDS, MI, United States 07-13-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Drew me in from the first sentence"

    I loved this story... seeing myself in the characters, and hating them for it at the same time I loved them for it. The story of Vera and her children is a story of a mother's love, suppressed by fear and loss, and ultimately redeemed by the persistence of her daughters. Kristin Hannah is a great author and this was the best of her books I've

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Consuelo D. Lewis 07-13-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible! Incredible!"

    What a beautiful story with so many twists and turns and surprises! All I can say is I am touched incredible!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelly 07-05-16
    Shelly 07-05-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow!"

    My heart is so full after reading this. Such an Amazing story! Don't miss this phenomenal, heart-wrenching historical fiction!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn NEW ULM, MN, United States 06-02-16
    Lyn NEW ULM, MN, United States 06-02-16 Member Since 2011

    Mylala

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    44
    33
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"

    Starting the story with so many opposing stories such odd disjointed lives makes you wonder then the tales and fantasies. WOW don't stop reading. It draws you in... Makes you want to shake everyone of them. But, before you know it, you're hooked! I've been to St Petersburg , post WW II, the beauty, mystic, reason why I started reading. No one can imagine the horror, but Ms Hannah, makes it a real place of unbelievable lose and yet love, wonder and the indomitable will of human life to survive. A wonderful book, a must read!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janna 05-27-16
    Janna 05-27-16 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Powerful"

    Loved this story within story! It grabs you in the beginning and lures you in more and more. Excellent story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaylyn Eagle Mountain, UT, United States 05-25-16
    Kaylyn Eagle Mountain, UT, United States 05-25-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable tear jerker"
    Any additional comments?

    The story is a little slow going at first, but once it picks up, I couldn't stop listening. Definitely pulls at your heartstrings if you are a mother. Not sure I would have survived all that the main character went through. I had a few beefs with the fact that the mom was so cold and distant to her children. I don't think any mother could really be that way. Narration was excellent. If you liked this book definitely read the Firefly lane series by the same author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Physical Therapist 05-19-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I always enjoy learning more about history but"

    the background story was not very credible, and frustrating to listen to. I bought this book to learn more about the Siege of Leningrad, which I believe it was an accurate portrayal of. However the lives of the present-day characters who are looking back to learn about their mothers past did not come across as realistic. I would recommend a different historical fiction book to learn about the Siege.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    m. barbara sowers, m.d. 05-10-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the Best Ever"

    A wonderful story within a wonderful story. Winter Garden is one of the books that you wish would never end but then it dies and the ending makes it all OK that it ended, makes you happy for the very way it ends.

    The performance is one of the best of all the many audio books I have had. Bravo !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Huffman 05-08-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "an in depth account of strong women"

    loved it! a romance, a mystery, a look into women's lives through terror and survival. Couldn't stop listening. The narrator was wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.