Published by HarperCollins on 2014-03-25
Genres: Contemporary Women, Fiction, Literary, Psychological
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Laura Kasischke, the critically acclaimed and nationally bestselling poet and author of The Raising, returns Mind of Winter, a dark and chilling thriller that combines domestic drama with elements of psychological suspense and horror—an addictive tale of denial and guilt that is part Joyce Carol Oates and part Chris Bohjalian.On a snowy Christmas morning, Holly Judge awakens with the fragments of a nightmare floating on the edge of her consciousness. Something followed them from Russia. Thirteen years ago, she and her husband Eric adopted baby Tatty, their pretty, black-haired Rapunzel, from the Pokrovka Orphanage #2. Now, at fifteen, Tatiana is more beautiful than ever—and disturbingly erratic.As a blizzard rages outside, Holly and Tatiana are alone. With each passing hour, Tatiana’s mood darkens, and her behavior becomes increasingly frightening . . . until Holly finds she no longer recognizes her daughter.
I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Well, this was quite the psychological thriller. I mean, when people say they are reading a psychological thriller you don’t think that they are really reading from the point of view of someone who, in the first few pages alone, comes off as really struggling to get a grasp on reality, but that’s definitely how Laura Kasischke starts off Mind of Winter. There is a serious bang – I could almost hear the shot, and the book was off.
I don’t want my three-star rating to fool you, I did enjoy Mind of Winter. There were parts of it that just kept me from giving it one more star and, since I struggled, it was obvious it wasn’t a choice between a four and five star rating. My issue was that, at times, it seemed Kasischke was going overboard with the repetition – and there is repetition in this book for a reason, I understand that, it just felt really overdone at certain points. Additionally the switching back and forth… oy, it felt like I was on a merry-go-round and the speed was jacked up to about 350%. I kept losing my place and having to re-start certain pages which doesn’t make for a very enjoyable read, unfortunately.
Still, all that aside, the premise and the blow-away ending were enough to keep me moving. I knew that the book was going to be interesting based on a few key ingredients: strange repetition (yes, that’s one of my negative points, but in other places it still worked well), and the isolation of two key characters. Nothing good can come of those two ingredients placed in the same environment for any length of time.
Mind of Winter was something I fully expected to be unable to put down, in spite of any faults it may have had. I enjoyed Kasischke’s book, The Raising, and name recognition drew me to this story more than anything else. If you enjoy a good psychological thriller, then I would suggest checking it out. Just…pay close attention so the constant switching from past to present and back again doesn’t throw you like it did me.
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