Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review | A Quiet Winter | Isabel Ashdown

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Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 350 KB
Print Length: 55 pages
Publisher: Myriad Editions (26 Nov. 2015)
ASIN: B0188C221G

Two years after her father’s death, Sarah Ribbons prepares to spend the festive season on her own in his crumbling old cottage. It’s not the idea of being alone that bothers her – she’s determined not to be a burden on well-meaning friends who try to coax her into joining them for Christmas – in fact, Sarah thinks she has life as she likes it: firmly under control. But when an unexpected email raises the ghosts of a distant past, she finds herself questioning this way of life – and discovers friendship in the least likely of places.

I’ve been a fan of Isabel’s writing, ever since I read her debut Glasshopper. Hurry Up and Wait was a keeper for me too in 2011 so when I was offered a copy of A Quiet Winter by the publishers I jumped at the chance.

A Quiet Winter is a prequel to HUAW but it can easily be read as a standalone short story.  HUAW begins when Sarah Ribbons is on her way to the school reunion with old school friend John.  A Quiet Winter ends before the reunion.

Isabel’s writing pulls you in to experience the same emotions as Sarah.  This is a time of being stuck and afraid to move on, afraid of making changes that will mean she must face life and not hide herself away.

It was interesting to be a part of Sarah’s life before the memories of the teen surface.  Experiences that have shaped her but she can’t remember why she feels uncomfortable.  The time before you’re ready for healing to take place.

Best friend Claire is probably the only one who can get away with saying the things that make Sarah’s hackles rise but then that is exactly what friends should do!  There are outer things that happen which reflect the inner change in Sarah.

Christmas Day was unexpected!  I loved the snug feeling and shared confidences.

It’s quite hard to review a short story without giving any spoilers.  For me, A Quiet Winter was all about emotion and realisations.  Not only for Sarah.  I loved ending on a positive 🙂

Connect with Isabel

Twitter @IsabelAshdown

Facebook Page IsabelAshdownBooks

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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