Title: Winter in the Summer Garden
Authors: Templeton, Natasha
Genre: Fiction: New Zealand
Pages: 320
Year: 1999
Language: English
Description: Resident in New Zealand, but Russian-born, Templeton tells the story of the siege of Leningrad and the dreadful events that preceded it through the eyes of the Shubin family. An introduction also to the work of Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova. NZ Interest.

Comments from Groups:

Our group enjoyed it, but found it generally badly edited. The female characters were much more developed than the men, who are still unknown at the end of the book. We thought the writer took too much on, but it was a fascinating subject though. Waitati 001

We all loved this book. A personal account of a devastating period of Russian history. Auckland 155

Most members enjoyed the book once they got into it. Interesting characters with a strong will to survive, and a very happy relationship between the two sisters. The poetry was an added bonus. Hamilton 024

Well written - great imagery. Grim reading but worth perservering. Christchurch 239

Wonderful book. Well written and so graphic. Christchurch 294

Unfortunately too many had abandoned it early on in the book as found " too many characters, too much jumping around and confusing". However, for those who did persevere it was declared interesting and satisfying. Palmerston North 006

Excellent discussion ensued from this book. There were many comments though about the difficult subject matter. This had indeed lead to some members not actually finishing the book. Others were enthralled, and overall found the book engaging and educational. Oxford 002

Categories: Fiction - New Zealand


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By: CULV 001 2021-10-29 14:04:50
Our group thoroughly enjoyed this book although a couple of members struggled to finish it. We had a very good evening of discussion - a moving and very informative read.

By: WELL 061 2021-10-29 14:01:05
Really enjoyed this book!

By: CART 001 2021-10-29 13:56:35
Very sad. A book about huge loss. The children retained their innocence to a degree. We had a really good discussion about the history of Russia; the book 'Madonnas of Leningrad' (a great read); man's inhumanity to man; and ended up with the current Middle East disaster and Donald Trump! All in all a very interesting evening.

By: CHCH 355 2021-10-29 13:49:47
Consensus was that this book was hard to get into. In fact, two people gave up. However those who persevered found that they were absorbed into the storyline in the last half of the novel. Gave insights into the siege of Leningrad and other aspects of Russian history. Poetry appreciated.

By: CART 003 2021-10-29 11:53:13
We all really enjoyed this book ( maybe enjoyed is not the right word) although a lot of it was pretty horrific. It was an era in Russian history we knew little about, from the perspective of a Russian citizen living through Stalin's purges and the siege of Leningrad. As a family memoir it is heartbreaking, and also powerful as a political comment on the power of intimidation and the tragic and reckless disregard for humanity.

By: MAST 004 2021-10-29 11:47:46
Highly praised by our group.

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