A Place Called Winter

A Place Called Winter

Book - 2015
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** Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2015 **

Picked for the BBC Radio 2 Simon Mayo Book Club

To find yourself, sometimes you must lose everything.

A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything.

Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.

In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love.

Publisher: London :, Tinder Press,, ©2015.
ISBN: 9781472205308
Branch Call Number: FICTION GAL
Characteristics: 340 pages ; 24 cm


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Jan 08, 2018

I loved this book. It illustrated a life on the Prairies in the winter that I had never read about before, and was an unexpected beautiful love story. Very well written!!

Jan 05, 2017

This novel is loosely based on the author's ancestor who left England under a scandalous cloud for the Canadian prairies in the early 1900s. I was originally drawn to the book because Harry settles in Winter, Saskatchewan which is an area I know well between the Battlefords and Lloydminster. As the author draws you into Harry's struggles, you learn about Harry's background, the dark underground of Edwardian England, and pioneer life in the Canadian West. The long winters are just much an enemy as the clashes between ethnic groups, the native Crees, and the railroad builders. Gale's lyrical prose uses every word to draw a picture very different from the pioneer west of movies and tv.

Jan 02, 2017

I liked the way in which different settings and time-periods are interspersed in this story of a man's long struggle to find strength and happiness.

Aug 21, 2016

This is the third Patrick Gale novel I have read. As always his characters are well developed, including human failings and the storyline is complex. It is a beautifully written sorrowful tale. There is a lot of detail of life in late 19th century England and of life for homesteaders in the Canadian Prairies. Since I have read only 3 of his books, I am not sure if Mr. Gale ever writes uplifting stories. None of the books I have read have been happy stories. That's fine with me, I like this type of story.

Aug 03, 2015

Great read and evokes the nauces in the social mellieu of the British class system at the end of the 19th century. The struggles and trials of early pioneering on the prairies of Canada are well researched and evocative. It's Harry Cane's story, as a character so easy to empathize with and feel for in the shame and deprivations that are imposed upon him through the judgmental and prejudicial attitudes of his time.

Jun 30, 2015

Great storytelling!

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