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A Girl in Winter


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I read this book for the reading group I've just joined. It definitely didn't look like the kind of novel I'd enjoy but I read it and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

From the blurb on the cover you can't learn much. It says:

This story of Katherine Lind and Robin Fennel, of winter and summer, of war and peace, of exile and holidays.

And that exactly what you get: the story of one winter day during which Katherine Lind reminiscences about the summer she spent with the Fennel family.

Lots in this book is unfinished and only half said. We never learn about Katherine's family nor her life in her own country. We can only guess the true intentions of all characters, the ending is ambivalent and so much is left for us to guess that sometimes I felt really frustrated. I like things straight and well explained. But this time, despite all this irritating moments I really enjoyed this book.

The language it's written with is beautiful, fluent and effortless. The descriptions are poetical and so exact you feel like you've been there and seen everything with your own eyes. It made me want to read Philip Larkin's poetry.

A beautifully written book. I wonder if anyone here has read it?

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A Girl In Winter sat on my TBR pile for years (until I disbanded TBR as a classification), and this has nudged my conscience a little.

Not enough of a nudge for it to take any sort of priority among the many unread books I own, but given a little bit of positive edge for when I am deciding on a book to read.

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  • 2 years later...

Just noticed this thread on Philip Larkin. I didn't realise that he had written a second novel and I will have to go and get it as soon as possible . I read his first novel, Jill about a year ago and thought that it was possibly the best novel that I have ever read. I'm 52 and have read a bit so please take that as a serious piece of adoration, for want of a better word. Unfortunately I was so excited by it that I gave my only copy (acquired for 99p from Oxfam) to my future son-in-law to read. He also enjoyed it and I have not seen it since. I appreciate that in this politically correct world the idea of a young man who falls in love with a child of 15 I think, could be considered a bit too far out but the poetic beauty of the prose ( isn't that oxymoron?) really is something that should not be missed.


megustaleer, if you got around to reading A Girl in Winter over the past couple of years ( or even if you didn't) , you should have a look at Jill ( if you haven't already). It really is a book not to be missed.



For myself I'll get back on a Girl in Winter once I have it and have read it - I'll even break my rule of not reading potential influences whilst writing.

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