Hornbacher, Marya The Centre of Winter

ISBN 13: 9780006552055

The Centre of Winter

3.87 avg rating
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9780006552055: The Centre of Winter

A fascinating, highly unusual, literary novel of love, obsession and powerful women by the author of the highly acclaimed Wasted.

‘All the seasons here in the north move toward their own end, except winter, which moves toward its centre and sits there to see how long you can take it.’

At the centre of winter, in Motley, Minnesota, Arnold Schiller gives in to the oppressive season that reigns outside and to his own inner demons and commits suicide, leaving a devastated family in his wake. Claire Schiller, wife and mother, takes shelter from the emotional storm with her husband's parents, but must ultimately emerge from her grief and help her two young children to recover. Esau, her oldest, is haunted by the same darkness that plagued his father. At twelve years old, he has already been in and out of state psychiatric hospitals and now, with the help of his mother and sister, he must overcome the forces that drive him deep into himself. But as the youngest, perhaps, it is Kate who carries the heaviest burden. A precocious six-year-old who desperately wants to help her mother hold the family together, she will have to come to terms with the memory of her father who was at once loving and cruel.

Narrated alternately by Claire, Katie and Esau, this powerful and passionate novel explores the ways in which both children and adults experience tragic events, discover solace and hope in each other, and survive. The Centre of Winter finds humour in unlikely places and evokes the north – its people and landscape – with warmth, sensitivity and insight. The story of three people who, against all odds, find their way out of the centre of winter, Marya Hornbacher's debut novel will leave you breathless, tearful, and ultimately, inspired.

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Review:

Praise for The Centre of Winter…

‘Hornbacher has created characters who are genuine, engaging, and unforgettable. Following her brutally honest memoir, the acclaimed Wasted (1998), with this stunning debut novel, Hornbacher, who inevitably will be compared to Alice Sebold, proves herself to be a master storyteller’ Booklist (starred review)

‘Hornbacher succeeds marvelously…[She] constructs a kaleidoscope of speakers at times beautiful and often disturbing…[An] adroit first novel.’ Los Angeles Book Review

Praise for Wasted…

‘A stunningly original and beautifully written book gouging deep into a gruesome subject which, by comparison, other writers have merely flirted with.’
Katie Campbell, Evening Standard

‘This factual account of a 23-year old’s experience of anorexia and bulimia is not just another confessional. It has not been written as an act of therapy or for financial gain. It is a prose poem … Like Plath, Hornbacher writes with a metaphoric intensity which at times seems tragically indistinguishable from the power of her drive to self-destruct. Her brutal honesty as to why it happened to her and her lack of special pleading, only adds to the essential pain of the book. If you want to understand anorexia, read this book.’
Alice Thompson, Scotsman

‘What marks Wasted out is the quality of the voice. Hornbacher is, simply, a good writer. Coolly vivid, there’s an edge to her prose … Her gift for description makes even the familiar aspects of the phenomenon newly real.’ Sylvia Brownrigg, Guardian

About the Author:

Marya Hornbacher’s memoir ‘Wasted’ was published to critical acclaim in 1998, and her novel ‘The Centre of Winter’ was published in 2005. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Hornbacher, Marya
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