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Winter Haven by Athol Dickson
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Winter Haven (2008)

by Athol Dickson

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11115108,775 (3.43)10
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This book seems all mixed up with the supernatural - there is a malevolent ghost, and a tragic tale of death and vengeance, and the possibility of madness. Vera doesn't know whom to trust - she can't even trust herself. But somehow Mr. Dickson gathers all the threads of a ghost story and turns it instead to a story of faith and goodness and healing. Beautiful. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Oct 13, 2013 |
I hadn’t read any of Athol Dickson’s work before, but I was curious about the acclaim his novels have received. It was with some uncertainty that I opened the pages of his atmospheric, moody Winter Haven. Set on a remote Maine island, filled with fog, superstition, and the appearances of dead bodies on the beach – including that of Vera Gamble’s long missing autistic brother. Gone some 13 years, his body appears the same as the day he left home – one of the many mysteries she finds on this spooky island.

While variously appearing to be mystery, suspense, and possibly even paranormal at times – the novel’s heart instead lies in the relationships between the characters, and perhaps most importantly – Vera’s struggle coming to terms with her tortured relationship to the past and a newly forming tenuous hope that ties her to the future.

Without giving away too much, I will say that this novel kept me rapidly reading in order to uncover the mystery at the heart of Winter Haven. I think I finished in two days, which is pretty fast for me considering I have a house full of children (4 at last count). I’m not afraid to admit that the last few chapters wrung a few tears out of me as well.

Winter Haven is a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride, surging between fear, suspicion, trust, and even the tentative buds of romance. Dickson is a confident writer who takes you through the trip with a sure hand at the rudder.

Reviewed at quiverfullfamily.com ( )
  jenniferbogart | Jun 19, 2012 |
This book has a lot of twists and turns and I felt like I was upside down sometimes. The main character gets confused and believe me so does the reader. It was an interesting read. ( )
  ThePublicLibrary | Jul 19, 2010 |
This book has a lot of twists and turns and I felt like I was upside down sometimes. The main character gets confused and believe me so does the reader. It was an interesting read. ( )
  Cottontail | Jul 19, 2010 |
Like Vera, the main character of this book, I was completely taken in by it's mysterious supernatural occurences and couldn't put it down until the truth had been uncovered. Vera is startled out of her workaholic existance by a phone call from an islander off the coast of Maine saying that they have found the body of her brother--the brother that disappeared when Vera was just a child. Vera goes on a quest to claim his body and bring it home--but becomes immersed in the mystery of the island where he died, and the mysery of his death. Dickson weaves a skillful tale that shows our perceptions may not always lead us to a true vision of reality. I definitely recommend this one for when you are in the mood to savor a intricately told story. ( )
  debs4jc | Aug 17, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0764201646, Hardcover)

A twisting mystery exploring God's response to honest questions as a woman's search into her brother's death exposes dark secrets from a town's past.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Receiving news that the brother who had run away years earlier has been found dead, Vera is astonished to discover that her brother did not age at all in the time he was gone and seeks answers in the mysterious New England island community where he had lived.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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Bethany House

An edition of this book was published by Bethany House.

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