Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Brillance Audio
Publication Date: 2/2/2010
Goodreads Synopsis –
Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and traveled the world to become a famous photojournalist. But when their beloved father falls ill, Meredith and Nina find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now, offers no comfort to her daughters. As children, the only connection between them was the Russian fairy tale Anya sometimes told the girls at night. On his deathbed, their father extracts a promise from the women in his life: the fairy tale will be told one last time—and all the way to the end. Thus begins an unexpected journey into the truth of Anya’s life in war-torn Leningrad, more than five decades ago. Alternating between the past and present, Meredith and Nina will finally hear the singular, harrowing story of their mother’s life, and what they learn is a secret so terrible and terrifying that it will shake the very foundation of their family and change who they believe they are.
My Opinion –
An enchanting story of love and family!
Meredith and Nina’s father is the glue that holds their family together. Growing up in a house, feeling unloved by their mother Anya, their dad means everything to them. Upon his passing the sisters find themselves at odds with how to care for their mother. The relationship between these three women is incredibly strained and will remain that way until they break down their walls and let love, clarity, and understanding in.
This review is for the audio version of this story and I loved it! It was a touching, heartfelt, tear-jerking journey that I went on with these three women. The alternating time periods work beautifully and I thoroughly enjoyed Anya’s Russian accent lifting the story right off the written page!
I thought the use of a fairy tale was a unique and creative way for us to learn about Anya’s family, her upbringing, and how her history helped to shape who she is today.
If you have yet to read this book I highly recommend the audio version. It adds another layer to the book that you simply cannot get from the written word!
*Book 7/20 in the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge.
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