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- Helen Brown enjoys The Winter Ghosts, a haunting new tale from Kate Mosse!
The winter ghost The story is about 9-year old Hendrick and Annie, and about their relationship. They have to find their own ways to overcome social prejudices before they can become true friends. Poverty and social injustice were part of children's life in Pieter Bruegel's world, and they still are in our time. Emotionally the story is about, how it feels to be treated unjustly, a feeling that most of the children experience in some stage of their lives. And just like Freddie I think I also fell for Fabrissa the moment she was described, long dark hair, loose tumbling curls and a smile that would ensnare any heart.
The Winter Ghosts definitely generates the needed atmosphere to carry off such a tale and although pegged as a ghost story it is actually much more than that. Part ghost story, part character study, part heartachingly good romance, it manages to combine all these elements together in a tight plot and pulls it off remarkably well.
Kate Mosse be praised. I'll definitely be pulling Labyrinth off the shelf in the not too distant future. Recommended to anyone that loves a quick chill before bedtime. View all 7 comments. Loved the atmosphere, the writing and the history! Jan 23, Sarah rated it it was ok Shelves: Freddie is haunted by the memory of his brother George, who lost his life during World War I. After years of sadness and a brief stint in a sanitarium Freddie journey's around France. When a snow storm leaves him with a broken car and lost in the mountains he winds up in the village of Nulle, Freddie finds a girl with a similar past who leads him to a monumental historical discovery.
The Winter Ghosts is a quick read, which is good because it will distract you from the lack of story it has. Mosse took an interesting subject, the Cathars, and made it dull, and ultimately unimportant in her story. Freddie himself, goes from being a character one can pity and really root for to an annoying babbling crazy person.
A big part of the problem is that the story Mosse is trying to tell isn't big enough for the pages she has written. A lot of mindless descriptions and musing happen, and the story moves at a snails pace.
The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse: review - Telegraph
The actually story of the Cathar's is interesting, but as it is told as an unbelievable dream and in short bursts near the end, it felt more like a plot device than a historic even important to the actual story. Overall The Winter Ghosts wasn't great, but it wasn't terrible, and if nothing else it was a quick read.
If you think you can stomach Freddie's whining, you might actually enjoy it. Jan 19, JackieB rated it did not like it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I thought this would might made a good short story, but it was padded out to novel length. The beginning quarter of the book was largely unnecessary to the overall story, and rather tedious.
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I was thinking of abandoning it when the story really began as far as I was concerned. Unfortunately, the main story seemed full of plot holes, or plot devices pushed too far. I just thought "That makes two of us!
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It was especially annoying because she tried to use this trick at least twice, which is at least once too often for my taste. If you have a torch you cannot see that a cavern is "Like a cathedral" because you do not have enough light to be able to see that well. Similarly, you cannot describe the cave in any detail because you can only see the small part illuminated by your torch. She has done this twice to my knowledge in this book and in Labyrinth and it drives me crazy. View all 4 comments. Oct 15, Blair rated it really liked it Shelves: This was a thoroughly enjoyable little story with plenty of atmosphere and intrigue.
I've only read one other book by Kate Mosse - the readable but somewhat heavy-handed Sepulchre - and The Winter Ghosts was far better. Like Sepulchre , it reads rather like a YA novel, and I wasn't at all surprised to learn it's an expanded version of a previously published short story. But the characters are likeable, the plot grips, and Freddie's meeting with the mysterious Fabrissa and his subsequent discoveri This was a thoroughly enjoyable little story with plenty of atmosphere and intrigue. But the characters are likeable, the plot grips, and Freddie's meeting with the mysterious Fabrissa and his subsequent discoveries are beautifully handled.
I found it all very absorbing and was delighted by the ghostly experience at the heart of the story. I must mention Brian Gallagher's gorgeous illustrations, too - they truly complemented the narrative and really brought the settings to life for me. This is a quick read, but a lovely one - it would be perfect to while away a winter's evening preferably read in front of a roaring fire while a thunderstorm rumbles away outside. Dec 28, Graham rated it it was amazing Shelves: An exquisite ghost story, well told, highly emotive, short and to the point.
This one has a beautiful backdrop to it in southern France, a land of snow-clad mountains and icy forests. I'm not ashamed to admit it had me bawling at the end. The various plot strands are neatly woven: I've An exquisite ghost story, well told, highly emotive, short and to the point. It's a beautiful and strongly poignant piece of writing. View all 3 comments.
Feb 16, Laura rated it really liked it Shelves: We are who we are, because of those we choose to love and because of those who love us. A nice and cozy little read perfect for a winter evening. It has a few ghosts but concentrates on life, on a wounded soul and the way to heal it and, above all else, on the need to love and be loved in turn. This is the expanded story that was originally released as The Cave, a 97 page short story for World Book Day Illustrations by Brian Gallaher.
He walked like a man recently returned to the world. Every step was careful, deliberate. Every step to be relished. Jan 01, Paul rated it really liked it. This is not a hefty tome like Kate Mosse's previous novels; in reality it is a novella and I read it in two sittings. As I haven't read her previous works I didn't have any preconceptions about this. Past and present are woven together well and the ghost story is redolent of M R James. The themes of love and loss are central and the setting is post WW1. Freddie is mourning his older brother who died in the war; the exploration of male grief is very interesting and poignant.
A bit of historical knowledge about the Cathars doesn't go amiss Oct 10, Elizabeth Sulzby rated it really liked it Shelves: I found this brief novel about the Cathars' persecution in the 14th Century of France to be much more elegant and rewarding than The Labyrinth. I think Mosse uses the time shifting from the early 20th Century to the 14th century much more skillful and convincing. As with the Labyrinth, the caves allowed whole communities to hide from persecution and death--to a point.
The main character has to resolve issues in his modern life with his grief for his brother who was killed in WWI, with his relati I found this brief novel about the Cathars' persecution in the 14th Century of France to be much more elegant and rewarding than The Labyrinth. The main character has to resolve issues in his modern life with his grief for his brother who was killed in WWI, with his relations with his parents, and with whether or not he will begin to live "life in the moment. The Winter Ghosts is indeed a ghost story but not in the scary sense--more a focus on extra-sensory perception.
Mosse is co-founder of the Orange Prize, a prolific author, and supporter of the arts. Ognuno di noi, oltre alla normalissima paura della morte, teme soprattutto di essere dimenticato. Teme che, dopo il nostro passaggio, quello che rimanga di noi siano solo ossa, ombra e polvere. La completa immersione nel proprio passato comporta un indebolimento psicologico di se stessi: Jul 14, Paula Cappa rated it really liked it.
The descriptions absolutely came to life on the page. This story of ghosts, love and romance, and the supernaturalism of the past leaking into the present is a fascinating one. Freddie is a charming and sympathetic character, deeply introspective, who stayed with me long after I closed the book. This is not a scary ghost story, more melancholy and cerebral.
The Winter Ghosts
I liked this novel far Beautifully written. It is suffice to say that it was a load of sentimental bollocks. I would have given up on this book, only if I hadn't read and enjoyed Mosse's previous novels see Labyrinth and Sepulchre. Also, it was a short read, so I thought I might as well finish it because I absolutely hate abandoning books half-way through. Just like Hosseini in The Kite Runner , Mosse tries to over-sentimentalize the suffering and grief of h 1. I am not underestimating the hold grief might take on someone who has lost his older brother, but I would question it when clearly it seems blown out of the proportion, that instead of sympathising with the hero, you end up hating him because now you know that the author is trying her hardest to manipulate your emotions.
All Freddie does is whine and wallow in self-pity. How, even 15 years after George's death, the music has no "charm" for him, how he is no longer "moved" by nature - basically everything cease to matter for Freddie the day he hears of his brother's death in the Great War. And as if it was not enough, Freddie's parents are demonised, as he keeps whining that they were "unable to love" him or they "forgot about him", how they only loved George and how they abandoned me to rot in sanatorium.
Really, it is rather unbecoming of a grown man to act like an emo. However, I do commend author's effort even though it failed to portray the psychological suffering men go through, because of the society expecting them to bottle up their feelings.
I think story would have been much better if George's character was shown thoroughly. We only get three or four snippets of his and Freddie's relationship like George made me laugh or George comforted me when my mother didn't doesn't really give a realistic impression of someone who makes such a huge presence in the novel. Also, the author should consider writing a brochure for tourists visiting southern France, because it is clear how much she loves filling her story with unnecessary descriptions of the surroundings and the mountains, until it becomes intolerable. The first pages were such a drag to read, with very few dialogues and the rest being flooded with paragraphs after paragraphs describing French landscape.
And as Mosse presses the slices of her story together — one medieval and the other 20th century — her readers can enjoy the familiar skin-deep frisson of being spooked, while deeper emotions are being subtly stirred beneath. She plays a very simple, formulaic trick to bring the lives and remotely terrible deaths of ancient Pyrenean people very close to 21st-century English folk. Get the best at Telegraph Puzzles. A collection of the best contributions and reports from the Telegraph focussing on the key events, decisions and moments in Churchill's life.
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