I read this book a long time ago now & I’m only just reviewing it because I’m a mess… Nevertheless, The Sisters of the Winter Wood was wonderfully imaginative & truly unique. I appreciated how much of this book is based on fact, & it was easy to picture the whole tale as true history. The Sisters of the Winter Wood oozes magic & it’s almost as infectious as the Hovlin’s fruit.
I was sent this book by the publisher in return for an honest review.
⚠️ This book contains violence, anti-Semitic slurs & attitudes from select characters & characters being forced to do things against their will ⚠️
I read this book all the way back in September but life got in the way of me writing the review & then I kept putting it off because it’s been so long since I read it – but here it is! Please do forgive me (especially if you’re Rena Rossner) if the review is a little lacking & please don’t take that as a reflection of the book itself, because it’s absolutely not.
As well as it taking me ages to write this review, it also took me a long time to read the actual book (11 days to be precise) & I genuinely think I would have rated the book 5 stars, instead of 4, had I been able to settle down into the book & read it properly within a better time-frame. Regardless of this, I still really enjoyed The Sisters of the Winter Wood & even this long after reading it I can still remember how much the magic jumped out of the pages.
The story got off to a really quick start; this isn’t the type of book that slowly builds up to the start of it’s main events, instead the story is running before you’ve even got time to take a breath, & because of that it leaves you breathless throughout. Now, in spite of the fact that the plot moves a bit quicker, the sisterly relationship between Liba & Laya reveals itself to the reader slowly & carefully.
I’m unsure if this was done on purpose, but for me it felt slow partly because I struggled a little with the poetry… You see, one sister’s point of view is told how a “normal” book would be, whilst the other is told through poetry, & as my dyslexic brain finds it hard to process most poetry, I felt a little disconnected from one half of the story (another reason why it got 4, instead of 5, stars). Aside from my dyslexic brain though, this way of writing the two characters was really clever because it really helped to separate the two sisters from one another & there was no way you could get confused about whose point of view you were reading.
This book truly is wonderful & on every page, poetry or not, it’s obvious how much the story means to the author. Going into the story I had no idea that it was own-voices, but it is & the historical basis of the book broke my heart constantly. This is one of those books that you find yourself thinking about when you’re not reading it – but you’re not thinking about the plot, you’re thinking about the meaning behind the story & the truth to the history that’s weaved into the magical events.
The Sisters of the Winter Wood is a fabulous story, that genuinely deserved a lot more from me as a reader & as a reviewer. The book was a great Jewish own-voices read, with heartbreaking history & fantastic magic – grab your copy using the links below:
Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Book Depository | Waterstones | Wordery
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