Friday, January 27, 2017

Winter Garden

"Winter Garden" by Kristin Hannah

This book was very good.  It had many twists that kept me reading.  I would get mad at the characters and fall in love with them too.  It was a page turner and another one of hers I would recommend.  The author writes about two very different sisters who have always struggled to win affection from their cold, non emotional mother.  When their loving father becomes ill both sisters struggle with what will become of them not that the person that held them together is dying.  A story their mother is urged to tell by her dying husband will reveal shocking secrets that will undo everything the daughters thought they knew about their family.  The story involves their mothers Russian history that they know nothing about.  "Everyone broke-and held themselves together-in their own way."  We all grieve differently.  We all need the space to grieve our own way.  "He is my home.  How will I live without him?"  "Physical pain was so much easier to handle than heartache."  Emotional pain is often so much harder, harder to push through, harder to overcome.  "Every choice changed the road you were on and it was too easy to end up going in the wrong direction.  Sometimes, settling down was just plain settling."  Every choice matters, every choice leads us either to where we want to be or down a different road.  "There are some promises that are pointless to ask for and useless to receive."  "None of the mothers look at each other; it hurts too much to see your own pain reflected in another woman's eyes."  I think that we often don't look at someone's eyes because we are afraid of their pain and yet this disconnects us as humans.  The greatest gift we can give someone is to sit with them in their pain.  "To lose love is a terrible thing.  But to turn away from it is unbearable."  "You carried your pain with you in life.  There was no outrunning it." There is only facing it with the most courage you can muster.  "They would always be a family, but if she'd learned anything in the past few weeks it was that a family wasn't a static thing.  There were always changes going on.  Like with continents, sometimes the changes were invisible and underground, and sometimes they were explosive and deadly.  The trick was to keep your balance.  You couldn't control the direction of your family any more than you could stop the continental shelf from breaking apart.  All you could do was hold on for the ride."  Hold on to those you love and hold on for the ride.  "How could any women know her own story until she knew her mother's?  We belong to each other and our stories need to be told because they bind us to one another.  "Joy and sadness were part of the package; the trick, perhaps, was to let yourself feel all of it, but to hold on to the joy just a little more tightly because you never knew when a strong heart could just give out."  Joy and sadness are a part of all of us, don't deny any of it, just hold the joy a little closer to your heart.

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