Sunday 6 March 2011

The Winter Ghosts

Finished March 5
The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse, read by Julian Rhind-Tutt
The main part of this story takes place in the past as Freddie tells it to a bookshop owner. His tale is told in 1933, but takes place in 1928. Freddie is still mourning the loss of his older brother in the First World War. His brother was the only one in his family that he had a true connection with, and he was not told the details of his brother's death at the time. Subsequently, he had a nervous breakdown and spent some time in a sanatorium, but he still feels very close to his brother and distanced from reality.
His doctor has advised him to take some time away and he has traveled to the mountains of southern France. He has a car accident on mountain roads in the early winter and sets off walking to find help. He ends up in the village of Nulle where he finds an inn where he can spend the night and where they will help with his car. Following instructions from the innkeeper, he attends a community feast in the town hall and meets a young woman named Fabrissa. When dangerous events happen, he helps Fabrissa leave and they both share their stories of loss. Over the next few days, Freddie discovers his true role in assisting Fabrissa and looking toward his own future.
With elements of mysticism and history, this story of loss and human caring was engrossing. I felt carried away into the world created in the novel. This is the third book by Mosse that I have read and, although each one is very different, they all share some of the same themes. I have enjoyed them all.

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