Hey, remember when I posted a few days ago about how Brilliant Books sent me a book I’d already read? Well, I contacted them as I promised I would and they were very lovely about it! A new book is on its way to me and they included a postage-paid envelope so I can send the other book back.
But that’s not what this post is about! It’s about May’s book, Wintering by Peter Geye. First though, for those of you not in the know:
Brilliant Books, touted as “your long distance local bookstore,” is similar to Just the Right Book! You fill out a form, a real-life person picks out a book, and then they send it to you. I paid $185.00 for one year of paperback books, though there are other options. While you’re here, why not check out my previous Brilliant Books reviews?
This one was a little different because they sent me some questions via snail mail (how exciting!) and then had me return said questions via snail mail (with a postage paid envelope) so getting started took a little longer than the others. However, once the bookseller got my card back I got a lovely email that let me know that if anything wasn’t to my liking that I could send it back.
Wintering though. I kept talking to my partner about it while I was reading it – because it is a very intense book – and he kept asking me if I liked it and I could never quite answer that question. I mean, it was compelling as all get out but also unnecessarily confusing at times and I was really, genuinely mad at most of the characters in the book. On account of the fact that they were big jerks!
There are two stories going on in this book. One involves a son whose father (who has dementia) had disappeared into some great, wild woods. The other story is that of the son and father wintering in those same great, wild woods 30 years earlier.
The father is manipulative and seems suicidal on this first 30-years-ago trip. Why he had to take his 17-year-old son on this awful, awful mission to try and die in the woods I don’t know. And boy howdy did they almost die. Even though I knew they weren’t going to, because the parallel story going on involved said father and son 30 years later, I was still nervous and upset by the brushes with death and all the shooting. So much shooting and I was never clear who’d actually shot who?
I can think of a number of people I’d recommend this to, but I wouldn’t recommend it to myself. It was tense and intense and lots and lots of shooting, plus bears and huge holes in the ice that never ended and of course real estate tycoons who were trying to kill everyone.
Rating: 5/10 for me; 8/10 for people who like feeling super uncomfortable, angry, and annoyed while reading a book.
Recommended for: People who like very, very tense books; people who like books that take place in the wilderness; people who like to read about shots going off and then wounds but never knowing exactly who shot who.
Does it pass the Bechdel–Wallace test? Nope.
Author of color / main character of color / female author / female main character: N / N / N / Y