Monday, 15 February 2016

All the Winters After by Sere Prince Halverson

All the Winters After introduced me to some of the many mysteries of Alaska.  After a twenty year absence, Kachemak Winkel returns home to Caboose to find a young Russian woman living there. What the heck is she doing there and what is Kache going to do about it.  Nadia has been living in this abandoned cabin for ten years and all of a sudden the dead man from the photos has shown up at her door.  Has she finally cracked up from loneliness. Is she imagining him or could he possibly be real.

I was entranced by the prospect of a man returning to his hometown after such a long absence.  He had been hiding from his past and finally realised he had to face his ghosts.  As it turns out, the other main characters in this book are also hiding from something, mainly them selves.  Each have their compelling reasons to keep hiding.  As their stories unfolded, I couldn't stop reading and trying to second guess their mystery.

The story is set in Caboose, which stands in for the real Homer, Alaska .  I was fascinated to learn about this far away local, which is almost 4300 miles from where I live.  The long winters and midnight sun are something I can now imagine more clearly.  I enjoyed learning about the extent of gardening in the north and how much could be produced.

Kache, Nadia and their families were brought to life for me by author Sere Prince Halverson.  Central to Nadia's story is that of the Old Believers of Russian heritage.  They are akin to the Mennonites who live in my area.  I found myself cheering for both their families, hoping that they would do right by them.

This was a most enjoyable book. The author made me feel part of Kache's and Nadia's lives by sharing so much of their feelings about their troubles and their feelings for their families.

Thanks to Sourcebooks for my review copy and for use of the cover image.

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