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Winter Garden: A Novel Audiobook, by Kristin Hannah Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Kristin Hannah Narrator: Susan Ericksen Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2010 ISBN: 9781423325239
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (32,382 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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Mesmerizing from the first page to the last, Kristin Hannah’s Winter Garden is one woman’s sweeping, heartbreaking story of love, loss, and redemption. At once an epic love story set in World War II Russia and an intimate portrait of contemporary mothers and daughters poised at the crossroads of their lives, it explores the heartbreak of war, the cost of survival and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit. It is a novel that will haunt the reader long after the last page is turned.

1941. Leningrad, a once magical city besieged by war, cut off from aid, buried in snow. A city full of women desperate to save their children and themselves…

2000. Loss and old age have taken a terrible toll on Anya Whitson. At last, she will reach out to her estranged daughters. In a halting, uncertain voice, she begins to weave a fable about a beautiful Russian girl who lived in Leningrad a lifetime ago…

Nina and Meredith sit spellbound at their mother’s bedside, listening to a story that spans more than sixty years and moves from the terrors of war-torn Leningrad under siege to modern-day Alaska.

In a quest to uncover the truth behind the story, Nina and Meredith discover a secret so shocking, so impossible to believe, it shakes the foundation of their family and changes who they believe they are.

“Another powerful story of family love, and strong women…a fascinating story that weaves fairy tales into reality, fairy tales that don’t always have the expected endings.” ―The Herald-News

“…a gripping read. Hannah’s audience will find plenty to discuss in this enthralling entry.” ―Booklist

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A searing story with a breathtaking, beautiful ending.”

    Seattle Times

  • “It’s a tearjerker, but the journey is as lovely—and haunting—as a snow filled winter’s night.”

    People

  • “Winter Garden is Kristin Hannah’s best written and most deeply affecting novel yet.”

    Huffington Post

  • “This tearjerker weaves a convincing historical novel and contemporary family drama.”

    Library Journal

  • “Readers will find it hard not to laugh a little and cry a little more as mother and daughters reach out to each other just in the nick of time.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • Selected for the February 2010 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • An Apple iBooks bestseller

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katy | 2/15/2014

    " I'm becoming a bigger and bigger fan of hers with every book. This one is a heart wrenching emotional book that really got me in the end. I love historical fiction, and Kristen wrote this beautifully. It was slow in some parts which was why I am only giving it 4 stars....wish I could give 4.5 though..... I'm sad to say goodbye to these awesome ladies and their stories..... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 1/31/2014

    " What a great book. A very sad and well told story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodi | 1/31/2014

    " Excellent book! Read it in two days, "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 1/28/2014

    " Ick: It's like reading a Lifetime movie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruby | 1/21/2014

    " A great historical fiction from the war in Leningrad, Russia. This book takes place in modern day with a story from the past that was so moving that it made me teary reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/12/2014

    " This is my all time favorite book by Kristin Hannah! So interesting the way she combines the present with the past. It was hard to put it down as I just wanted to keep reading and find out what was going to happen next. Well worth reading! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/10/2014

    " I thought this book was well written with an interesting storyline. I enjoyed it from start to finish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mellie | 1/9/2014

    " I haven't read such a good book in a long time. I almost forgot what it felt like to have a book that you just can't put down. This book was a very touching story and I would read it over and over again "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krissy | 1/8/2014

    " Slow to get started but rich with history. Emotional 2nd half had me in tears at the end. Worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorelei | 12/28/2013

    " This was my first Kristin Hannah book; loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa | 12/25/2013

    " Beautiful and haunting story. I highly recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah | 11/21/2013

    " I had a hard time sticking with this book for the first part, but glad I continued. Enjoyed reading about the Russian past. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 11/15/2013

    " This book is a little "dark".. I don't want to use the word dark, but not sure of what else to use. It's is very good, some language and such keep me from giving it 5 stars "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl | 11/2/2013

    " Amazing story! A must read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 10/31/2013

    " This is probably my favorite Kristin Hannah book! Loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louise | 10/27/2013

    " This was one of the best books i've read in a long time, i enjoyed how it would go back in time to tell the story of Anya. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 9/25/2013

    " This book opened my reading world up tp Kristin Hannah.. Amazing story..would make an excellent book club discussion. Gotta read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 7/20/2013

    " This is not my typical read, but a friend told me I would love it. She was right. It took a little bit for me to get into it, but once I was I could not put it down. Find out why the old nasty mom was nasty, as 2 sisters get to know the mother they new nothing about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 4/25/2013

    " Loved the way the past and present were woven together in this book. It reminds us of just how much our experiences shape and mold us in ways we or the ones we love may never understand. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 12/10/2012

    " Very emotional, but such a great book!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jackie | 9/7/2012

    " This was an okay read. It read quickly and I was interested in the story. However, I didn't find any of the characters likable and didn't really believe that their actions were realistic or justified. The ending of the book was a bit cheesy. A light read for summer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mo | 5/17/2012

    " A little boring and very predictable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jillian | 3/15/2012

    " Another one that made me cry a lot. But very well written! A story of the war but not from a country we hear a lot from "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juli | 12/12/2011

    " A little slow in the beginning, but incredible second half! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 10/5/2011

    " An interesting way to try and tell the terrible story of the seige of Leningrad, but the book would have benefitted from some hard editing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patti | 7/11/2011

    " I found the fairy tale gripping - especially since I have never read anything about that part of the world during that period of time but the current family issues just didn't hold my interest and I was more in to quickly reading it to get to the 'fairy tale'. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 5/23/2011

    " Another amazing book by Kristin Hannah "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 5/22/2011

    " I bawled my eyes out the last 1/3 of this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 5/22/2011

    " Combine a fairy tale with two sisters in contemporary times and Russian history. A magical exploration of what it means to love and be a family. Magnificent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 5/22/2011

    " Moving story about two sisters and their emotionally distant mother. Little by little, the sisters discover the reason behind their mother's distance. The novel started out a bit slow, but by the end I couldn't put it down. I look forward to reading more of Kristin Hannah's novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Timlin | 5/22/2011

    " I very much enjoyed this book. It was well-written and touching. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 5/21/2011

    " Not overly crazy of the writing style.Seemed somewhat simplistic.Loved the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alexis | 5/18/2011

    " This is just really amazing. Starts out a little slowly, but develops into this breathtaking, heartbreaking and uplifting story. I really, really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krista | 5/17/2011

    " Loved the way the author set up the story, told it, and brought it to an end. Good surprises. Helped me remember that people generally act the way they do for a reason, and that we may never know why they are the way they are. Also enjoyed the Russian history in the book. "

About the Author

Kristin Hannah is the author of several New York Times bestselling books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller The Great Alone.

About the Narrator

Susan Ericksen is an actor and voice-over artist. She has been awarded numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. As an actor and director, she has worked in theaters throughout the country.