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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The details intrigued me: As soon as you stop, there may as well never have been any life at all. My winter excitement quickened each year with the approach of darkness. I see the body of a dead man break into a flower, and the trees of home swaying like arms that have laid down their burdens. Dunmore perched on high, peering down into the lives playing dunnmore below. This article needs additional citations for verification. Fear pulses from the pages, but while cold and hunger slaughtered Leningraders in their thousands, these dangers were at least clearly visible: We stared at her.

Lawrence, who was writing Women in Lovemay or may not have been having a relationship with a nearby farmer; the couple were persecuted by the locals, and finally ousted by the armed forces on account of Frieda’s suspicious heritage. I loved the poetical, sensuous writing in places – the box of lemons arriving from distant Italy being one stand out description. There was ainter problem adding your email address.

Eventually, the real world seeps in in ways both expected and unexpected. With a huge house to creep around in and no one to pay attention to them except Kate, their trusted servant, Cathy dinter Rob fall into a strange spell of their own.

A life in writing: Helen Dunmore

Great description at times I could see and feel the horses, the sky, the landscape. When Rob returns the trenches beckon with a predictable outcome. The analogy of the all-seeing novelist is hard to resist: 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 was rooting for Cathy. Apr 06, Theresa Leone Davidson rated it liked it.


Its central characters are the Roman poet Catullus, who lived during the last years of the Republic, And I wondered, was this true?

So I was delighted. House of Orphans was published inand in Counting the Stars. This page was last edited on 14 Augustat Their father dies in a mental institution and their mother abandons them. Ik had in het begin moeite om in het verhaal te komen. The past was not something we could live in, because it had nothing to do with life. But, just as the narrator describes how a blanket of snow can protect, the characters find protection from the outside world under the cold crust that the old house forms around them.

The heart of the story takes place while the kids bg in their late teens and trying to figure out what they want to do with their futures, which of course does include courting and social niceties, you know, like I originally expected.

A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore

Is that all that’s here? This article about a World War I novel is a stub. Eliot’s work does not have overt incest it was enough just to hint towards attraction during that time periodbut the close connection of the isolated siblings, the jealousy of the suitors, the “dark” beauty in the pristine society of appearances who is othered like Maggie, everyone sees Cathy as a moral threat at a young ageand the effect society has on ruining their bond are strikingly similar; however, The Mill on the Floss has a much stronger, dramatic ending read it!

Zennor in Darkness deals with the period from during which Lawrence and his German wife, Frieda, rented a cottage on a clifftop on the Cornish coast. She is abandoned many times during her life, but her resilient nature, whether through necessity or tenacity, keeps her going.

The narrative is confusing in places, but it reaches spfll inside and churns the emotions, not through melodrama, but an exploration of wjnter inner space of the narrator.

Something I really liked was the power of the crumbling country estate. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll stick to the basics here: The weather plays quite a part oof coldness and numbness, not just cold but without warmth anywhere, all greenery shrouded and subdued – this is Catherine’s life. The story was well written, though at times deeply disturbing. It felt so mixed and so I give a mixed rating and a mixed review. I read this book awhile ago but it fit so perfectly into my new “Gothic Nouveau” category that I couldn’t quite resist writing a little something about it.


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.

In her latest novel, The Betrayal a sequel to ‘s The Siegeshe transports us to another port city, Leningrad, and sinks us deep into the oppressive heart of it. I see Miss Gallagher’s hips moving in greedy speech and my brother hurling a hard-boiled egg like an arrow against death. Her loneliness and her dark search for love lead her to a place which threatens her, and only the coming war seems to break the spell.

My heart made my blood hiss in my ears.

Like a person, the house demands energy and devotion from the inhabitants and, in return, it gives them the ability to live as if nothing has changed: The book is populated with isolated, ignorant, damaged, and mentally ill characters. Jan 03, Peaches rated it really liked it Shelves: A Spell of Winte r has many of the Gothic hallmarks: It is gradually oof to us that their mother has left and is living abroad, while their father, unable to spelo without her, has been admitted to a sanitorium.

In a large family you hear a great many stories. I huff out my breath and watch it smoke.