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Schwarzer Winter (2000)

by Cecilia Ekbäck(Favorite Author)
4.13 of 5 Votes: 2
review 1: This is one of my favourite novels in a long time! Set in 1717 a family move to live in a sparce settlement on a Lapp mountain where dark things have happened. Experiencing their first winter is harsher they could have imagined after moving from the Coastal Finnish town. As mysteries seem to follow the mother Maija, who has experience with fear and it's devastating effect, a force starts to grip her elder daughter Fredericka. This story intertwined more mysteries as it throws red herrings in. Although I had a feeling what might occur or have happened, I loved the atmosphere all the way and was very pleased with the ending, which is not always the case. Perfect! I highly recommend you get a copy.
review 2: The Wolf Winter, by Swedish author Cecilia Ekback, ope
... morens in the year 1717 with two young girls, immigrants from Finland, discovering the body of a local villager. His carcass is torn apart as though attacked by wolves but their mother, Maija, recognizes the work of something more frightening than a wolf: a human. In their tiny mountain village, occupied by no more than a dozen families, the fact that one of them is capable of murder is a chilling discovery. As the townspeople are willing to blame the death on wolves, Maija is determined to discover the true nature of the man's death.For those who voraciously devour murder mysteries, this book is different from the crime novels that are solved by the end of the week. Wolf Winter begins in the early fall and does not resolve until spring. The intrusion of the church, the villagers' distrust of the indigenous Lapps, and a deadly, snowstorm plagued winter, obstruct Maija's commitment to find the murderer. Left on her own with her two young girls, Frederika and Doratea, Maija is forced to brave, and survive, as an outsider in this hostile environment. Her struggle was so absorbing it made this reader forget about the murder and focus on her day-to-day struggle against the frigid weather and alienation from fear-driven villagers.While beautifully written, Wolf Winter does have parts of the book that feel as if it's meandering. Most passages are short, some with seemingly inconsequential events like Maija darning socks or Frederika taking her little sister to school. As the winter intensifies, the book grows more mystical with religious, and arcane, symbolism. Frederika's part in the story expands as she begins to interact with the Lapp tribe that the villagers distrust. She also begins to discover more about herself as a young woman, an element of this story that some readers found to be inconsistent with her age. Taking into consideration the century in which this story takes place and how people lived shorter lives and consequently had to grow up faster, some of Frederika's actions make sense.Wolf Winter is a fascinating and beautifully written debut novel. The women are written as strong and independent survivors of their environment. And when the story finished, I found myself thinking about them for days. While initially annoyed at how slowly the story advanced, with the murder mystery seemingly part of the background, I recognized in the end that it was all a complex part of the big picture. There is more to this story than just the murder as it turns out humans are much more predatory and beastly than any wolf. less
Reviews (see all)
I found this one to be a very well written, atmospheric, and really unusual story.
First-rate historical mystery, with a little bit of supernatural thrown in.
My enthusiasm for this novel waned as the story evolved.
Very beautiful, pacing a little off.
3.5 stars
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