The Center of Winter The luminous first novel by Marya Hornbacher the acclaimed author of Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia is a moving and passionate story of a death from despair and a stricken family s passage

  • Title: The Center of Winter
  • Author: Marya Hornbacher
  • ISBN: 9780060929688
  • Page: 132
  • Format: Paperback
  • The luminous first novel by Marya Hornbacher, the acclaimed author of Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia, is a moving and passionate story of a death from despair and a stricken family s passage through grief toward the hope, solace, and understanding that waits for them somewhere beyond the center of winter.

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      Published :2021-02-13T23:53:06+00:00

    About "Marya Hornbacher"

    1. Marya Hornbacher

      Marya Hornbacher published her first book, Wasted A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia HarperCollins Publishers, Inc , in 1998, when she was twenty three What started as a crazy idea suggested by a writer friend became the classic book that has been published in fourteen languages, is taught in universities and writing programs all over the world, and has, according to the thousands of letters Marya has received over the years, changed lives Her second book, the acclaimed novel The Center of Winter HarperCollins, 2005 has been called masterful, gorgeous writing, a stunning acheivement of storytelling, delicious, and compulsive reading Told in three voices, by six year old Kate, her mentally ill brother Esau, and their mother Claire, The Center of Winter is the story of a family recovering from a father s suicide in the spare, wintry Minnesota north, a story of struggle, transformation, and hope Marya s new memoir Madness A Life Houghton Mifflin is an intense, beautifully written book about the difficulties, and promise, of living with mental illness It is already being called the most visceral, important book on mental illness to be published in years It will be published in April of 2008 The recipient of a host of awards for journalism and a Pulitzer Prize nominee, Marya has lectured at universities around the country, taught writing and literature, and published in academic and literary journals since 1992 She lives in Minneapolis with her husband Jeff, their cats Shakespeare and T.S Eliot, and their miniature dachsunds Milton and Dante.

    863 thoughts on “The Center of Winter”

    1. The Center of Winter is the story of a father's suicide and the way it reverberates through his family for the next year. Told from the perspective of all the ones left behind (his wife, son, and young daughter), the novel is by turns excruciatingly sad, dull, painful, and joyful. It's the story of a family coming back to life after the unthinkable has happened, and not just surviving but eventually thriving.I found myself falling in love with every character in the book, even the man who did th [...]

    2. This book has been near and dear to my heart. I am unhappy to have finished it. It both warms you and breaks your heart. Davey and Kate are six yrs old and the best of friends. Esau is Kate's twelve yr old brother who seems to have Bipolar Disorder. He has his "darks" and is hospitalized, institutionalized and eventually brought home and stabilizes. His mother says he has the "sick-sads" that he quite possibly inherited from his father who eventually kills himself. Kate and Davey are inseparable [...]

    3. I'm not sure how much I really liked this book. I couldn't put it down, but I ended it feeling ambivalent. I think my expectations may have been unrealistically high since I liked Hornbacher's memoir so much. This book was interesting, and sometimes it was incredible, but it was also uncomfortably bleak at some points, and the writing was sometimes awkward and thick (there's no need for someone to shriek on every page) and a few of the characters got on my nerves. Despite those complaints, still [...]

    4. SO well written. loved this novel from start to finish, couldn't put it down."All the seasons here in the north move toward their own end, except winter, which moves towards its centre and sits there to see how long you can take it. Spring twitches impatiently in its seat like a child wanting to go outside, straining toward summer,and summer, all lush and showy, tumbles headlong toward the decay of fall. Fall comes and goes so fast it takes the breath away, arriving in brocades of red and gold a [...]

    5. Damn. This is such a well written novel and engaging story. It centers around a father's suicide-but thorugh her writing talent, Hornbacher makes the novel incredibly wonderful and not at all depressing. The story is told from 3 different viewpoints--the spunky 6-year-old daughter's, the mentally ill 12-year-old son's, and the widow's. The construction of the narratives moves the story along and makes you feel like you are a part of their family. It's the best novel I've read in a REALLY long ti [...]

    6. This was truely a beautiful story. There are sad times with this family, but brighter times as well. The author's description and comparison of winter and life is so on! Since it takes place in northern minnesota, you really feel the cold in the winter and heat in the summer. I loved how the mom, son and daughter narrated the story in different sections. It really told you from their point of view what was going on. I felt each section was in good length and I'm sure it was a hard thing to do fo [...]

    7. Having read Hornbacher's intimate memoir about her battle with Bulimia and mental illness, Wasted, some years ago, I've been meaning to pick up some of her fiction ever since. Her debut novel, Centre Of Winter, came highly recommended to me by a friend and it didn't disappoint. Narrated by three members of the same family, it takes in their different perspectives of coming to terms with the suicide of their patriarch, Arnold, and how his death has affected them individually and as a whole. The y [...]

    8. If you read Marya Horbacher, don't expect it to be all sunshine and roses. I adore her writing. She's a person who has experienced a lot of pain in her life through her battles with eating disorders, addiction, and mental illness. When she writes about these subjects, it comes from a place of true personal understanding and that brings so much more reality to her words.The other two books of hers I have read are Wasted and Madness. Both are excellent memoirs. This is her first venture into ficti [...]

    9. This is a story about how one family copes with death and grief within the family. Told from the mother, the daughter, and the sons' point of view. I thought it was a little boring at times Quote:"When you're six, you don't know about what happens at the end. Because the world revolves around you when you're six, you assume the end must be catastrophic, because it would be catastrophic to you. The end would be dramatic and loud. But what really happens at the end is that you sit down and have co [...]

    10. I read a little over 30 pages of this book and could not continue despite my best efforts. The protagonist was a child and the author was unable to write in the authentic voice of a child. I found the dialogue between the six year-old protagonist and her twelve-year old brother completely phony. There was not enough other depth to the narrative to sustain my interest and I realized my mind had wandered too many times.

    11. I haven't read "Wasted." I am glad. This was my first MH book.I was ill-prepared for what the book centers around [death.] But once I started reading . I put the other books I was reading away and focused on "The Center of Winter."I cried. And cried. Cried.Loved it. Was mad that I finished it so quickly. Because it was good. But I wasn't ready for it to endddd.Thank god the ending didn't make me cry more. Couldn't have dealt with it.

    12. Wow. What this author did was take grief, PTSD, mental illness, love, children, alcholism, endings and beginnings, family and friendship and put everything together in a poignant and humorous novel that I absolutely did not want to put down. There were times while reading this book that I wanted to cry, and then laugh, and then laugh some more, amidst the family chaos, grief and what it is really like inside the mind of a child.

    13. I didn't love the end because it seemed like it went a little too fast and I actually had to read the last few pages twice in order to "get" everything, but that doesn't take away from this wonderful, well-written book. I wasn't sure if I'd like Marya's novel, since I LOVED her nonfiction book, Wasted. But she showed me that she can do both very, very well!

    14. It's not that the author is a bad writer - it's more like she has never interacted with actual human beings. Not one conversation in this book felt authentic. I've never met six year olds who talk or behave like Kate and Davey. But it was a problem with every character in the book. It got so annoying and unsettling that I finally had to give up.

    15. Rarely do I give a book 5 stars but Marya Hornbacher deserves it for all that she put into this story of mental illness, pain, love, and hope. This is a beautifully written book that hooks you from the start and takes you on a emotion filled journey with each character. It is heartfelt and real in the midst of a fictional world. I can only hope that Ms. Hornbacher will write more fiction.

    16. I was most impressed by the author's ability to make me really know these characters on a very in depth level. Wonderful character development, moved me to tears on a few occasions, and explored mental illness in a very honest manner. I really enjoyed reading this!

    17. I'm surprised that this book received mixed reviews. Granted, it doesn't compare to Hornbacher's stellar, wor(l)d-shattering memoirs, but it is a strong text in its own right. The shifts in perspective helped propel the story - adjusting the lens of focus and preoccupation to subtly call attention to narrative limits. The language was varied, reflective of the respective characters: innocent, playful 6-year old Kate, brilliant yet manic 12-year old Esau (his first chapter took place in a State h [...]

    18. This book was hard to read because it captured grief so completely. Consequently, it took me more time to get through than a typical book, and it's taken me longer to getting around to this review. It's a heavy book. It's really, really good, but it's heavy.When the patriarch of a family commits suicide in his small, cold, Minnesota town, it naturally effects the lives of his wife, 12-year-old son, and 6-year-old daughter. We get to read each of their perspectives. Claire, the widow, feels respo [...]

    19. This book had a lot potential to be great for me. Topics that I want to read about and an author whose work I liked in the past. However, the fact that it almost took me 4 months to finish it tells another story. 'The Center of Winter' is a story about mental illness and loss and how a family copes with them. The story is told from three different POVs. Kate, the six-years-old daughter, her bother Esau (12 years old) and their mother. Between the tragedy that hits the family kind and Esau's stay [...]

    20. This is the space in which The Center of Winter takes place. Such a small geographic area, such large stories to be told. I honestly cannot write a review that does this book justice. It is beautifully written, profoundly sweet, and achingly dark. It felt a little slow to start, but once the flame caught it spread like wildfire until the very last word. Motley, Minnesota, has a population of just over 500, it is 1969 and all the men spend their days in the only bar in town or their own basements [...]

    21. Oh, this is hard. First of all, I went into this book biased by Wasted. When someone's autobiography is that uncomfortable, and I come out the end kind of not liking her a whole lot, but just maybe, still a bit fascinated, that's a tough place to be in when reading a debut novel. I'm deeply ambivalent about Marya Hornbacher, and I'm equally deeply ambivalent about The Center of Winter.I'm a total sucker for precocious kids in tough situations. And I did love the children, the ultra-precocious si [...]

    22. Oh wow! Such a great read!!Excellent characters telling their own stories; gifted writing & a gripping plot line had me riveted to this book. Light & dark shades, beautiful friendships. I highly recommend this book!

    23. Not quite a 4 but definitely better than a 3. I liked the book but found it to be a bit too dark for my taste. For the most part, I liked the way it was written. There was a richness to way she describes mood with silence having a shape and absence filling a space. She forces you to feel the effect environment has on memories and behavior. Her descriptions of weather were also very good. You felt the warmth of a house when you walked in or the uncomfortable heat of the summer. However, I had som [...]

    24. This is not the book to read if you’re looking for a happy story. Which isn’t to say that it doesn’t end well, but it’s not going to leave you feeling uplifted and light.Set in small town Minnesota, this is the story of a family. A mother who never quite wanted to be, a father who can’t quite get it right, and isn’t happy enough with what he has, a son who gets lost inside himself, and a daughter just trying to keep up. The story is told from ever side, each looking a little differen [...]

    25. As a Hornbacher fan, I read The 'Centre of Winter' because I loved Hornbacher's memoirs 'Wasted' and 'Madness'. The novel shows Hornbacher's continued brilliance in describing events and characters so you feel as though you are there. The pace of the novel is much slower than that of the memoirs and includes a lot of dialogue. Characters in her own life seem to emerge as fictional characters in the novel. I wonder whether the two children Kate and Esau represent the two sides of Hornbacher as a [...]

    26. "The thousands of lakes sprawling and sparkling a brilliant blue, the dense foliage and subtropical wet heat of summer, the wildflowers of the prairie, the long wide ribbons of road that amble through fields of corn — and the winters, the thick sheaves of snow that slip from the roofs of farmhouses and city homes, sifting to the ground, where they slide into the slopes of snow that lean against the house, the bitter hard cold that presses against your chest and takes your breath, and the red b [...]

    27. La malattia della tristezza è parecchio contagiosa e investe completamente questo nucleo familiare, non solo il padre. La situazione appare complessa fin dall'inizio: la zia suicida, il figlio con problemi psichici e il padre alcolista. Viene da pensare a come effettivamente nella vita i problemi tendano a sommarsi fra loro e ad assumere dimensioni spropositate.Il romanzo descrive una famiglia in gravi difficoltà e lo fa utilizzando i diversi punti di vista dei suoi componenti, in modo da dare [...]

    28. Such an emotional book. The author has bipolar disorder and I read her book about that. I thought this was similar: a recounting of how she and her family manages to live with the disorder. Instead, this is a work of fiction, set in her home state of Minnesota. It follows two families and the emotional highs and lows of their lives and how they deal with them, from a son with a mental illness who spends time in a state institution, to a husband who came back from the war very much unlike the man [...]

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