Monday, October 17, 2011

Winter Flowers by Carol Coffey



Winter Flowers is Carol Coffey’s third novel and I believe it is her best to date. It is the story of two sisters who have both been wounded by life. Iris has always taken care of her younger sister and Hazel has always let her, but they must both learn to heal the wounds of the past just as they must confront the dangers of the present. Hazel also has two young sons caught up in a dysfunctional lifestyle and the two sisters realise that is time to stop the cycle of damaged childhood.

When Hazel discovers some of her mother’s letters in the attic some long held family secrets are revealed. Gradually the story of the past and the present unfold and the sister’s stories are given alternate chapters.

Carol Coffey has often been compared to Jodi Picoult and I can understand why; like Jodi Picoult Carol deals with “issues” such as alcoholism, depression and violence. However what Carol excels at, is in creating utterly believable characters that the reader cannot help but care about and in detailing the nuances of character and family relationships with faultless writing. In that I believe Carol Coffey deserves comparison with the Queen of Women’s Fiction; Maeve Binchy.

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