A Spell of Winter is a gothic novel by Helen Dunmore, set in England, around the time of World War I. The novel was the first recipient of the Orange Prize. A Spell of Winter: A Novel [Helen Dunmore] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The inaugural winner of England’s prestigious Orange Prize, . “Not many novels grab the reader’s lapels with the opening sentence, but Helen Dunmore’s A Spell of Winter is surely one We plunge.

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A life in writing: Helen Dunmore

There were two Helen Dunmore books I wanted to read this year — The Siege, which I found to be a wonderful read, and this one, the winner of the inaugural Orange Prize in It’s hard to work out why I left it so late. To see what your friends thought of this book, dinmore sign up.

I’m sure that was meant to echo the lives of the characters, but the small breakthrough at the end wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the dismal trial of the first pages. Well, if overwrought drama and aa is your thing, have a go at it. A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore. Cathy and her brother, Rob, have forged a passionate refuge against the terror of loneliness and family secrets, but their sibling love becomes fraught with danger.

The trouble with this book was that it just plain loses you.

Cathy leads her governess, the monstrous Miss Gallagher, deep into the woods and frightens her to death with talk of ghosts. There is the same harsh northern landscape, the same tug of forbidden passions, family secrets similarly buried, and the familiar situation of the rich bachelor a distant figure on the neighboring estate.

In The Siegeset 10 years earlier during the deadly Leningrad blockade, Dunmore set out a world of shrinking horizons.

Inside is what you have made and it waits for you” Jan 03, Peaches rated it really liked it Shelves: A vivid tale, yet full of secrets – some the reader is privy to, and some that are never fully revealed. The people within the house can pretend that change is not happening, but eventually, they are forced into the outside world. As Catherine fights free The inaugural winner of England’s prestigious Orange Prize, A Spell of Winter is a compelling turn-of-the-century tale of innocence corrupted by wknter, and the grace of second chances.


The windows stare back at me, blind with frost. With absent parents abandoned by mother, a father who went insane before dyingand a cold, emotionally distant grandfather, it is little wonder that the siblings, Cathy and Rob find comfort in each other.

I wondered if Mr. Maar vooral de transformatie die in cathy tot stand komt van zodra ze zelf moeder wordt van zodra ze haar kind aborteert: This book has incest in it, but if your only experience of incest is Virginia Andrews, then you’re in for a shock because Helen Dunmore can write circles around her. It’s a very deep form of play.

A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore

It’s Flowers in the Attic with actual attention to developed writing style and a historical time period. Themes included in psell novel that some people might find distasteful: Our essential everyday identity is still humming along. This is a novel of forbidden love, family secrets and how Cathy gradually becomes a woman and learns to understand what drove her mother away. Jun 26, Lindsay Heller rated it really liked it Shelves: It’s not a perfect book, but I loved it–stories with this kind of emotional heft, without melodrama, are hard to find.

Kate and Rob depart together for Canada.


Be the first to discover new talent! Ik had in het begin moeite om in het verhaal te komen. The frontiers of the characters’ lives were pulled back and back: I wanted to write about a particular person, a particular time, a particular place.

More abandonment when Kate leaves the farm, and then Rob too, leaving Cathy alone in the empty house to try to eke out a living as the hardships of WWI take hold—a war that will deprive her, dnumore and perhaps not—of everything.

The weather plays quite a part – coldness and numbness, not just cold but without warmth anywhere, all greenery shrouded and subdued – this is Catherine’s life. Recently, I read an extraordinary novel of dunmorf mother who abandons her children and the consequences from that. I finished the book in hopes of discovery the answer to the family secrets sppell found no satisfaction there or anywhere else in this book.

My father was the eldest of twelve, and this extended family has no doubt had a strong influence on my life, as have my own children. Dunmore herself a mother of two seems to find the possibility of such djnmore loss magnetic: But I like the reminder that if all out there. Its central characters are the Roman poet Catullus, who lived during the last years of the Republic, Not really, she says: There’s something about the way they devour books that’s wonderful; you don’t get many fans of adult fiction sending you beautiful drawings of your characters.


With a huge house to creep around in and no one to pay attention to them dunmlre Kate, their trusted servant, Cathy and Rob fall into a strange spell of their own. Again, like a flood of icy water, I see her not staying by me, not watching my helrn grow tall alongside hers, not measuring my head as it comes to her shoulder, her chin, her eyes.

This was also my first researched novel, set in the First World War and dealing with the period when D H Lawrence and his wife Frieda lived in Zennor in Cornwall, and came under suspicion as German spies.

BBC – Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour -A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore creates a world which is at once understandable and yet totally different. Heating, cleaning, opening and closing windows, making sounds to fill the silence, cooking and washing up, laundering and polishing. Eliot’s work does not have overt incest it was enough just to hint towards attraction during that time periodbut the close connection of the isolated siblings, the jealousy of the suitors, the “dark” beauty in the pristine society of appearances who is othered like Maggie, everyone sees Cathy as a moral threat at a young ageand the effect society has on ruining their bond are strikingly similar; however, The Mill on the Floss has a much stronger, dramatic ending read it!

Het is dit trauma dat uiteindelijk ook haar ziel en lichaam losweekt van van haar broer en ze zo de weg naar haar eigen zelfstandigheid vindt.