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The Sisters of the Winter Wood – tekijä:…
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The Sisters of the Winter Wood (vuoden 2018 painos)

– tekijä: Rena Rossner (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3881351,149 (3.62)9
Captivating and boldly imaginative, with a tale of sisterhood at its heart, Rena Rossner's debut fantasy invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore, and the dangers of the woods. "With luscious and hypnotic prose, Rena Rossner tells a gripping, powerful story of family, sisterhood, and two young women trying to find their way in the world." --Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles and Circe In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami's babka and the low rumble of their Tati's prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell - despite their mother's warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods. As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realize the old fairy tales are true...and could save them all. Praise for The Sisters of the Winter Wood: Publishers Weekly: Best Book of 2018: SF/Fantasy/Horror BookPage: Best Book of 2018: Science Fiction & Fantasy "Intricately crafted, gorgeously rendered...full of heart, history, and enchantment." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A richly detailed story of Jewish identity and sisterhood... emotionally charged, full of sharp historical detail and well-deployed Yiddish phrases...Ambitious and surprising." --Kirkus… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:amysky201
Teoksen nimi:The Sisters of the Winter Wood
Kirjailijat:Rena Rossner (Tekijä)
Info:Redhook (2018), 464 pages
Kokoelmat:Toivelista
Arvio (tähdet):
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The Sisters of the Winter Wood (tekijä: Rena Rossner)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
In an Author’s Note at the end of this story, the author tells us that she was inspired in part by the experiences of her own family, who emigrated from the area on the border between the Ukraine and Moldova following a series of pogroms against Jews in 1903. These violent anti-semitic riots, carried out with government approval, left many dead and wounded, with houses destroyed and stores pillaged.

The worst pogroms were in the years between 1881-1883 and 1903-1906, causing a mass exodus of Jews to other countries. Some two million Jews subjected to pogroms emigrated from the area between 1881 and 1914, mainly going to the United States. It was then that the author’s family left Dubrossary and Kupel, both towns featured in this story, and went to the “goldene medina” or “golden land” of America. The Jews who did not leave those two towns were finished off by the Nazis in 1940, who rounded them up, locked half of them in the main synagogue, burned it to the ground, and shot the other half and buried them in a mass grave. As the author writes in her Note, “the stories I drew upon . . . these were all things that happened.”

But this is not a Holocaust story. On the contrary, it is a story of Jewish resilience told in the form of a fairy tale. The story is based upon Jewish history, traditions, and language. There are three glossaries at the end of the book for Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ukrainian words and phrases included in the story. Most of these are defined as they are come up in the narrative, but the glossaries are a nice touch.

The plot centers around two sisters, Liba, 17, and Laya, 15. Liba's narration is shown in prose and Laya's in free verse. This variation in style is an apt representation of the differences between them: Liba is earthbound and practical, and Liba has her head in the clouds, always dreaming of flying away. Liba is devout, but Laya is not sure God even exists. She thinks: “We pray because it makes us feel like someone’s listening . . . even if they’re not.” The love they have for each other is fierce, and transcends their differences.

As the book begins, a stranger comes to their cottage and asks to speak to Tati, the girls’ father. The stranger says that Tati’s own father, who is the leader of the Jewish community in nearby Kupel, is dying, and Tati and Mami must go there right away. The parents decide not to take the girls since travel is so dangerous for Jews. Before they go, however, Mami tells each of the sisters secrets about their past and who they are, and begs them to watch out for each other. She tells Liba:

“Know this - anything is possible, Liba, anything. There are lots of different kinds of beasts in the world . . . . People are not always what they seem. And you are more powerful than you’ve ever dreamed. If you’re ever in danger, you can draw on that power to save your sister, and yourself.”

Likewise Mami tells both girls that if necessary, they must become what they need to be to protect themselves.

Indeed, later in the story, after all hell breaks loose, Liba avers that “being a Jew means always changing - staying true to what you are, but adapting to your surroundings. That’s what our people have always done.”

Discussion: The lives of the characters in this book are interwoven with magic, much of it seeming to come from the ancient forest next to the sisters' cottage. The story most notably harkens back to Christina Rossetti’s narrative poem “Goblin Market,” to which it closely adheres. The author also draws upon the Russian folklore traditions which give prominent roles to bears and to swans. These three strands of folklore allow the author to use metaphor to show what is happening to the girls and to the village, from their transition through puberty and adulthood and the fears this inspires in each of the girls, to the incursion into their area of Anti-semites bent on destroying them.

Evaluation: This book about growing up, the inevitability of change, and the dangers in the wider world is well told. The author added interest and atmosphere by weaving into the story elements from folk and fairy tales. ( )
  nbmars | Sep 6, 2021 |
This was a good fairytale-, folklore-, and religious-mythology-infused story about sisters, marriage, and magic. I enjoyed the references to Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market. ( )
  bibliovermis | Jun 7, 2021 |
I really enjoyed the worldbuilding and how it begins with a tone similar to a traditional fairy tale’s, but as the story progressed that tone jarred against the contemporary dialogue. The characters made increasingly bad decisions, too, which just irritated me. By the end, I was very glad it was over and I could move on to something else. ( )
  whatsmacksaid | Jan 25, 2021 |
A really interesting mix of myth and folklore, Jewish persecution and historical fiction. Familial love, heritage and responsibility, sisterhood and new adolescent love. ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Dec 16, 2020 |
Liba and Laya are two Jewish girls living in a small town in Ukraine, in the early 20th century. They are starting to hear alarming stories about dangers to Jews out in the larger world, but they feel safe in their town, secure in the knowledge that both Jews and non-Jews are decent people in their town.

Then Liba discovers that her father, her beloved Tati, can transform into a bear, and her Mami into a swan. And, also, that she is likely going to be able to transform into a bear.

Unfortunately, that's on the same night that a stranger shows up at their cottage in the woods, with the news that Tati's father is dying, and that Tati, his heir, needs to return immediately. The parents take a couple of days to make a decision, but then they go, leaving the girls behind, and telling Liba to protect Laya.

Before leaving, their Mami has separately told each of the girls more about her swan heritage, Laya's likely ability to become a swan, and a more painful family secret. She pledges each of them to secrecy; she asks Liba, the elder and beginning to show her bear heritage, to protect Liba, and to ensure, if the swans arrive, that Laya is allowed to make her own choice about whether to go with them, or not.

With their parents gone for an unknown length of time, Liba struggles to protect her sister, in ways that Laya doesn't necessarily agree with, or agree that she has the right to. They're less than three years apart in age, and both of an age that, if their father weren't so protective, they might already r been married. A rather strange group of fruit sellers has moved into the town, or rather, into the woods right outside it, and one of these young men has charmed Laya. Liba is appalled; these men are not Jews, and in fact she hears them saying shockingly antisemitic things at the market, and encouraging nasty rumors. Their Tati would never approve such a match.

But in the meantime, Liba has become attracted to Dovid, the son of the local kosher butcher, who isn't kosher enough for Tati. Dovid is kind, generous, and his family is kind and supportive--to Liba, and to Laya to the extent that she will allow it.

And Liba and Laya both know that Tati would not approve that match, either.

Not to mention, Liba is increasingly partially transforming into a bear, and knows she will complete the transformation at some point. How can she keep this from Dovid? But if she doesn't, how can he love a beast? She keeps decidiing to end it, but she can't follow through.

Meanwhile, dark forces are closing in on the sisters, and on the town. The strange fruit sellers are only the first and most obvious of those threats, and news of pogroms are starting to reach the town, and heighten the tension between Jews and non-Jews.

When the growing danger forces each of the sisters to make choices based on partial information they don't completely understand, and communication and trust starts to break down between them, the town itself explodes in potentially deadly conflict.

I really loved this story. Strongly recommended.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Oct 3, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 13) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Rena Rossnerensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Panepinto, LaurenKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Rottenberg, TomerAuthor photographermuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Yanovskaya, RebeccaKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Clements, AnaKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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Oif a meiseh forget men kain kasheh nit. (Don't ask questions about fairy tales.) ---Yiddish saying
For there is no friend like a sister In calm or stormy weather; To cheer one on the tedious way, To fetch one if one goes astray, To lift one if one totters down, To strengthen whilst one stands. ---Christina Rosetti, Goblin Market
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In memory of Nettie Bunder z''l (1921-2017) who taught me all the Yiddish I know
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If you want to know the history of a town, read the gravestones in its cemetery.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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Captivating and boldly imaginative, with a tale of sisterhood at its heart, Rena Rossner's debut fantasy invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore, and the dangers of the woods. "With luscious and hypnotic prose, Rena Rossner tells a gripping, powerful story of family, sisterhood, and two young women trying to find their way in the world." --Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles and Circe In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami's babka and the low rumble of their Tati's prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell - despite their mother's warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods. As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realize the old fairy tales are true...and could save them all. Praise for The Sisters of the Winter Wood: Publishers Weekly: Best Book of 2018: SF/Fantasy/Horror BookPage: Best Book of 2018: Science Fiction & Fantasy "Intricately crafted, gorgeously rendered...full of heart, history, and enchantment." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A richly detailed story of Jewish identity and sisterhood... emotionally charged, full of sharp historical detail and well-deployed Yiddish phrases...Ambitious and surprising." --Kirkus

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