Friday, April 10, 2015

Come Winter - Clare Gutierrez

Come Winter      

Publisher:        River Grove Books

Market:            General

Genre:             Historical Fiction

Length:            408 pages

Pub. Date:       February 19, 2015


Description (from Amazon):

Lady Caterina Tabor, an extraordinary young girl who, en route to England, finds herself captured and at the mercy of a stern and powerful lord. Forced to work as a common kitchen maid in the dank halls of Dermoth Castle, Caty dreams of her past as a free and autonomous maiden with a bright future in the English courts—did fate have other plans?

This early trial is but the first in a litany of shocking tribulations; imprisoned, abused, accused of sorcery, and kidnapped, Caty’s life is for so long anything but charmed—but you can’t keep a soaring heart shackled. As we follow this misunderstood maiden’s journey through both the unexpected, electrifying joys of new love and the pain of mind-boggling adversity, we become eyewitnesses to the astonishing way she not only transforms herself but also enchants, inspires, and invigorates those around her.

Spanning decades of castle life, treacherous journeys, bloody battles, and heartache, Come Winter is a sweeping yet personal tale of a brave woman who at once embodies and transcends the prescribed, and oftentimes oppressive, roles her society demands. Let Clare Gutierrez (author of Dancing with the Boss) curate your voyage back to the Scottish highlands of ages past—a time and place in which simply staying alive constituted a noble adventure, and becoming a patron of the oppressed and the impoverished could make you a hallowed queen.


My Review:

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Coming into this book, I didn’t really know what to expect; the write up on NetGalley just seemed interesting. 

I turned the final page pleasantly satisfied.

I was immediately drawn into the story of Caty and her life.  Why was she being sent to court?  Where does she get her strength?  How is she going to deal with each new obstacle?  It was a book I didn’t want to put down.  Caty is strong but not harsh.  She is compassionate and innovative, not to mention intriguing. 

My one complaint would be at times the narrative was confusing as I was unclear how much time, if any had passed.  It seems as the book progressed, the author got better at dileneating that.  But for at least the first half, the timeline seemed sketchy.  Thankfully, for the most part that didn’t hinder the story itself.

I will caution conservative readers that there are moments of passion sprinkled throughout – no more than a handful.  They are always between married individuals and not described in great detail.  Still, they were more than I generally like in my reading.

Pros:  appealing characters; engaging plot; fascinating book

Cons:  uncertain timeline in portions; some passion

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 (excellent)

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