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About the Book

About the Book

A Spell of Winter

Disturbing love and underlying horror govern the hermetic world of this Gothic novel set in early twentieth-century England. Catherine and Rob Allen, siblings two years apart, grow up in a world of shameful secrets. Their mother abandons them when they are young, and their father dies after being institutionalized. The children live with their grandfather in a crumbling country estate accompanied by their dependable maid, Kate, and a malicious tutor, Miss Gallagher. Together they forge a passionate refuge for themselves while the world outside moves to the brink of war.

Against this backdrop, cruelty and eroticism lurk beneath every surface. Kate and Rob finally leave for Canada and then the war comes, taking most of the neighboring men with it, so that Cathy is left with her ailing grandfather on the farm. It's only when the war ends, and she is alone that she is ready to break away and be redeemed by love.

Helen Dunmore's most celebrated work, which captured Britain's prestigious Orange Prize, is a compelling tale of innocence corrupted by secrecy, and the grace of second chances.

A Spell of Winter
by Helen Dunmore

  • Publication Date: January 9, 2001
  • Genres: Fiction, Literary Fiction
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press
  • ISBN-10: 0802138764
  • ISBN-13: 9780802138767