THE WINTER TREE by Georgina Lewis

THE WINTER TREE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A determinedly misty tale of doomed mythic/mystic love in rural Cornwall--told by one Garfield family member to another. The story begins when motherless waif Hester, starved and terrified, arrives at the bustling, cheerful home of her kind uncle Garfield and his large family. The Garfields give Heater tender care; she responds with devotion. Yet there's always something strange about Hester--her determination to acquire a grandfather (even a dead one), her climb up to the church tower, her oddly intense communion with neighbor Joseph. Then Hester obediently marries nice David Penkevin, moving away from the Garfields--even though it's obvious that there's no warmth and real communication at the core of the marriage. When baby Elizabeth is born, one of the Garfield children spreads the tale that the baby is Joseph's! And eventually Heater will return with ""a curious air of tragedy about her"" --recognizing her mystical tie to Joseph (""It goes back and back, millions of years, until before the world began""), learning a shocking family secret, and taking a final trip to that eerie church tower. Murky doings in rural England--harmless enough but marred by opaque portents and ripe-corn prose. (""Their two souls stooped low, and loomed, purple-shadowed and crepuscular, over the great dark forest of desire."")

Pub Date: March 1st, 1985
Publisher: Victor Gollancz--dist. by David & Charles