21 comments on “A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore | Book Review

  1. I’ve struggled with both Dunmore’s children’s and adult fiction in the past, and I’m not sure whether to try her again – there’s something that irritates me about her prose!

  2. Great review! I’m glad to see you mostly liked this one. The more I hear about it the more excited I am- I need to pick it up soon! I’m sorry to hear it shifts out of the gothic a bit toward the end, but the exploration of human boundaries does sound very appealing. I’m optimistic!

  3. Halfway through and I’m absolutely loving this, but good to know ahead of time about the tonal shift! And it’s funny that you mention that so many key moments happen outside the house, because that’s something I’ve actually been noticing as well! The summary made it sound like the whole thing was going to take place in the house and I was gearing myself up for that, so I’ve been surprised at the way the setting has been rendered so far.

    • Ooh, I’m so glad you’re loving it! I was all set to give it 5 stars for so long that my 4 still feels a little harsh – I really did think it was excellent, and suspect it will stay with me. The tonal shift is definitely deliberate, so not a flaw as such, and I still very much enjoyed the final third. I’m just biased towards all things gothic, lol.

      Yes! I was surprised too. The house has such a stifling, dominating presence that it’s really interesting to see how much the characters break social convention and revert to animalistic instincts when they’re out of its grasp.

      I’m excited for your full thoughts once you’ve finished!

  4. Ooh, I’ve really been wanting to read this for a while and it’s great to see how much you enjoyed it. Sounds like a great read for this time of year as well so I’ll have to knuckle down on my search for it 🙂

  5. Fantastic review as usual, Callum! I hadn’t heard of this before now but it sounds amazing, have added it to my list.

    • Thank you so much! I picked it up purely because I wanted to try out some of the past winners of the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and I was so pleasantly surprised. I hope you enjoy it when you get to it 😊

  6. This sounds excellent. It’s been on my TBR for a while and I know Rachel is reading it at the moment as well! I’m really looking forward to reading this.

    • Yeah, a few of us who made our way through the Women’s Prize longlist decided to do a very casual buddy read of one of the past winners. It was such a pleasant surprise; just the gothic, sumptuous read I needed! I think you could really like it, and I look forward to your thoughts once you get to it 😊

  7. Pingback: September Wrap Up | Callum McLaughlin

  8. Pingback: Review: A Spell of Winter | literaryelephant

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