BookView Review: The Wisdom of Winter by Annie Seyler

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Publication Date: December 13, 2022

Publisher: Atmosphere Press

List Price: $15.99 paperback

ISBN-13: 9781639886487

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult

Author interview

 

Told in a lyrical voice, Seyler’s deeply moving novel depicts the intricacies of family ties, relationships, and human connection. Insulated from societal mores by her glamorous mother and humble father, little Beatrice’s life is nothing but content. When a tragedy befalls, breaking her family, Beatrice realizes her life will never be the same again. Years later in San Francisco, incongruities in Beatrice’s life abound: hiding behind a facade of pretension, Beatrice is keenly aware of her vulnerabilities. When a cascade of events steers her back to her childhood home, a shocking discovery forces her to face her past again. Beatrice’s hidden feelings of resentment and rage as she tries to come to terms with her mother’s death make the heart of the story. But the narrative slowly unfolds to connect with the ordeals of the whole family until we see that Oliver and their father too have their own traumas to deal with. Though the conflicts are modest, like Beatrice’s fallout with her brother, Seyler convincingly portrays her characters’ struggles, making each of their anxieties worthy of intense scrutiny. Her rich examination of how our interior selves are shaped by memory and consequence and her poignant depiction of the intricacies of love, marriage, relationship, guilt, and redemption make this tender, touching novel both thought-provoking and entertaining.

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