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A Place Called Winter

af Patrick Gale

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
4433256,584 (4.1)40
"A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything. Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonized Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before. In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love."--Page [4] of cover.… (mere)
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» Se også 40 omtaler

Engelsk (31)  Tysk (1)  Alle sprog (32)
Viser 1-5 af 32 (næste | vis alle)
This is a powerful novel, gently written. The character of Harry Cane is revealed slowly, we get to know him as we would if we were to meet him, by his gradually revealing himself to us.

He's a gentleman of leisure at the turn of the last century, living an amiable, if somewhat purposeless life. A damaging scandal puts an end to all that, and he's forced into the harsh but ultimately rewarding life of a hardy homesteader on the as-yet-untamed Canadian Prairies.

The novel tacks between past and less-distant past to flesh out our understanding of the narrative. You'll like Harry Cane and sympathise with him. You'll like and believe in the other main characters too, possibly even the villain of the piece. I wonder though, if like me, you'll find the next-to-last chapter less than convincing? The only flaw in an otherwise thoroughly satisfying read. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
Set first in London and then in Canada, this is a novel from the early 20th century that benefits from good research and a family story. Harry Cane appears to be your typical Edwardian wealthy married man but an illicit affair with another man threatens disgrace and he travels to the Canadian prairies to be a farmer. An emotional and gripping novel about one life. The novel has love and violence and historical interest. ( )
  CarolKub | May 7, 2023 |
An ambitious historical novel, in which Gale projects an imagined life onto the little he knows about his great-grandfather. Harry Cane, the son of a successful businessman, drifts through life in Edwardian London. He allows himself to be manipulated into marrying a woman he feels sorry for, and to be led into a pleasant routine of sexual encounters with an actor who is supposed to be giving him speech lessons. And then, when it all comes to light, he lets himself be pushed off by his family to lose himself in the colonies with much the same good grace.

At this point the story changes gears, as Harry finds a new determination to make something of himself as a farmer in the West of Canada, and finds himself drawn into real, deep friendships with his farming neighbours. And of course there's a crisis and a lot of bad things happen, not least a world war and an influenza epidemic.

As always, it's family relationships (for the widest possible definition of "family") that seem to interest Gale most, and that bring out his most interesting writing, but this time there's also a lot of very convincing historical detail, especially about pioneer farmers in Canada. The part of the book about the Edward-Carpenter-quoting psychiatrist who runs an experimental community in the wilds of Canada but doesn't quite have the courage of his convictions is interesting too, but it doesn't really get enough space in such a very wide-ranging book. ( )
1 stem thorold | May 6, 2022 |
Chosen by my local reading group, this book is interesting in many ways. Insights into Edwardian prejudices and horrific psychiatric treatments, and there's also a lot to learn about early 20th century settlers in Canada. The writing is good, and the places and situations feel authentic.

However the characters are not very well-rounded or believable, including Harry, who is based on the author's great-grandfather, and I didn't much like any of them (other than one, who appears later in the book and is disposed of before the end). There's a horrible 'villain' who doesn't feel real, although there's a sense of dread when he's nearby, and the story is told in a somewhat disjointed way, as flashbacks based on a discussion with a friendly psychiatrist.

I found the ending a bit too abrupt (and the last couple of pages entirely unlikely), and it's not a book I'm likely to read again. However it's very popular, so don't necessarily take my word for it...

Longer review here: https://suesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2021/09/a-place-called-winter-by-patrick-ga... ( )
  SueinCyprus | Sep 6, 2021 |
Viser 1-5 af 32 (næste | vis alle)
tilføjet af gsc55 | RedigerGraeme Aitken (Apr 10, 2015)
 
Harry Cane is one of many, the disappeared who were not wanted by their families or their societies and whose stories were long shrouded with shame. This fascinating novel is their elegy.
 
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"A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything. Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonized Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before. In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love."--Page [4] of cover.

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