The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

The Sisters of the Winter Wood

Raised in a small village surrounded by vast forests, Liba and Laya have lived a peaceful sheltered life - even if they've heard of troubling times for Jews elsewhere. When their parents travel to visit their dying grandfather, the sisters are left behind in their home in the woods.But before they leave, Liba discovers the secret that their Tati can transform into a bear, and their Mami into a swan. Perhaps, Liba realizes, the old fairy tales are...

Details The Sisters of the Winter Wood

TitleThe Sisters of the Winter Wood
Release DateSep 25th, 2018
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Young Adult, Magical Realism, Adult, Historical, Historical Fiction

Reviews The Sisters of the Winter Wood

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    $2.99 on Kindle US today 12/16/18Look at this copy!!!! OMG!!!!! And yellow stained edges! Everyone in this book got on my nerves! But, I still liked it. Funny that! Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
  • Melanie
    ARC provided by Orbit in exchange for an honest review. “Sometimes you know when you don’t belong, but you don’t know how to leave.” This is one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read in my entire life. It was also able to evoke such a visceral reading experience from me. I never wanted to put this book down! And I knew that this was going to be heavy on the Russian folklore, but I had no idea that this was also a reimagining of...
  • karen
    NOW AVAILABLE!!man, i was so looking forward to this - it seemed, from the description, to be exactly my kind of book; one blending fairytale sensibilities with realworld atrocities à la Gretel and the Dark, with girls shapeshifting into bears and swans, and coming as it did in an envelope full of bear n’ swan confetti and GOLDEN FEATHERS, Y’ALL!!!and, because those bears are too good at camouflaging themselves:feel free to read my palm!know...
  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]
    If there are a few things I love in my fantasy stories, they are: 1) good, diverse representation, 2) fairytale vibes and/or retellings, 3) historical settings, and 4) animals and/or shape-shifters. This book checks all those boxes, plus either other chapter is poetry (and if you didn’t know, I adore stories in verse), so basically this was one of the most “on brand for me” books I’ve ever seen in my life and I was absolutely ecstatic to ...
  • Will Byrnes
    For there is no friend like a sister In calm or stormy weather; To cheer one on the tedious way, To fetch one if one goes astray, To lift one if one totters down, To strengthen whilst one stands.-----From Goblin Market by Christina Rosetti I know what might be happening to me; I just don’t know if I want it to happen, and I have a feeling that there’s nothing I can do to stop it once it starts. Once upon a time two sisters lived in a house ...
  • James Lafayette Tivendale
    Every family has a secret... and every secret tells a story. I received an advanced reader copy of The Sisters of the Winter Wood in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Rena Rossner and Orbit Books for this opportunity.The titular sisters and their parents live close to the village of Dubossary and reside in a house that is close to the woods. They are a Jewish family in a tale that is like a melting pot of reality, Jewish mythol...
  • Julie
    My official review! Do NOT miss this book if you enjoy languorously paced, character-driven dark fairy tales and fantasies like "The Bear and the Nightingale" or "Uprooted.""This dark fairy tale about sisterly love and Jewish strength and courage, set against the backdrop of a deep and deadly winter forest, will haunt me for a long time. A powerful, emotional debut."
  • Emma
    Oh, how I wishthis were darker. The winter woodheld little chill. Its thorns were so smalland brittle. Two girls, one fair, one dark, live with their Tati and Mami in a house by the forest, a simple life of religion and toil. When a stranger appears at the door one night, telling of an extended family about whom they knew nothing, Liba and Laya’s lives are changed forever. Their parents are made suddenly mysterious by their secret pasts, with t...
  • Roman Clodia
    If you enjoy modern whimsical re-tellings of folklore and fairy tales with a smattering of history (here Jewish pogroms in pre-Revolutionary Russia/Ukraine) then this might be for you. I liked the intentions but found this too YA and unsophisticated for my tastes.The two sisters, especially, are schematic: Liba is bear-like, dark, aligned with her father, and tells her story in prose; Laya is swan-like, white-blonde, aligned with her mother, and ...
  • Lou
    This had so much potential, bucket loads in fact, but it sadly wasn't as alluring as I thought it was going to be. Don't get me wrong, this is still a beautiful book, I just felt it may have been a five star read in the making. The story moves slowly and takes quite a while before it moves at a better pace, and it has an authentic fairytale feel about it which I very much enjoyed. Told from Liba and Laya's perspective with each alternating chapte...
  • Sylvie
    3.5/5 stars.So, I just realized I have never posted the review of this book, which I've written it the minute I finished it. Before reading this I saw a lot of comparison to Naomi Novak's books and I haven't read any of her books, yet. And while liking this book, I'm considering to give Naomi's books a shot. What I liked: -The cover: one of the most gorgeous covers of this year. I usually don't judge books by their covers but I couldn't help myse...
  • Anja
    *2.25 DISAPPOINTED STARS* /RANT INCOMING/ I'm afraid this book just wasn't for me, even though lots of people are probably going to love this.This looked and sounded so promising (I mean, have you seen that gorgeous cover?!) and I'm all for discovering new ethnicities, cultures, history and folklore. I was hyped when I read this also involved shapeshifting swans and bears, but I just didn't like the execution at all. This was sooo slow!My main pr...
  • Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
    My thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown and Co for a review copy of the book.This is a retelling of Christina Rossetti’s poem Goblin Market but also much more, it weaves in folklore, history, myth and magic. This is the story of two sisters Liba, nearly eighteen, and fifteen-year-old Laya who’ve been living with their Tati and Mami in the woods on the outskirts of Dubossary, on the border between Moldova and Ukraine. Their family has never be...
  • Katya Becerra
    This book was one of my most highly anticipated debuts of 2018 - and it absolutely delivered! I'm enthralled by it, by its hypnotic writing, unique setting, and the dual-voiced narrative that is clever and so beautiful. I particularly enjoyed all the linguistic and cultural descriptions in this Jewish fantasy. I highly recommend it, and can't wait for Rena Rossner's next book!
  • ♥ Kayleigh Kehoe ⚜ (Awkword Reviews)✍
    "'He is a hunter, or did you not know that? All men are beasts inside. Some just show it differently than others.'" Liba and Laya are two Jewish sisters that live in a small village surrounded by forest. When there is a knock on the door one night, it wakes the older sister, Liba, up, and as she eavesdrops she hears and sees parts of her current reality, past and future that were previously obscured from her. Her grandfather is dying. And Liba's ...
  • Adam Sockel
    There are not many books I can think of that so beautifully tell a story of family, love, magic, pain and culture like this. Rena has created a powerful story of two sisters, bound by the unique magic that both connects them and sets them apart. Equal parts prose and poetry, the dizzying, circular story reminds me Wintersong by S Jae-Jones as well as And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich. All of these stories keep you guessing and somewhat con...
  • Sol ~ TheBookishKing
    Happy Release Day to this Gorgeous Book!Full Review can be found on my Blog Here!This book is so enchanting and wonderful and I'm so glad it's now out in the world for everyone to read! I did just recently finish so it's not like it's been a long wait lol. The Sisters of the Winter Wood is about two sisters (no duh Sol) who live in a small cottage in a small town. This features a Jewish Family, who are very devoted to their faith, and who are rem...
  • Diane
    I'm not sure there are enough superlatives to describe this book. First, there's the magnificent cover. It sets the tone for the book better than any cover I've seen. The story was beautifully written--much of it in a prose poem style that works fantastically well to convey the thoughts and conversation of the characters. Two girls lost in the woods. How many fairy tales have had that theme? But this book twists and turns the cliche into somethin...
  • Lauren
    Wow.This book was absolutely incredible. It’s dark, beautiful and atmospheric. This is one of the best books I have read...ever. I was completely captivated by the beautiful writing, the atmospheric world building and the dark fairytale being told. I loved how this was about finding yourself and learning to not be afraid or ashamed of who you truly are. I loved how it is about sibling bonds and the loyalty between 2 sisters. I, myself, always v...
  • Acqua
    DNF at 33%The Sisters of the Winter Wood is a historical fantasy novel following a Jewish Ukrainian family. The two main characters are Liba and her younger sister Laya, and this is a story of self-discovery that almost reads like a dark fairytale, partly inspired by Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market and by many Russian and Ukrainian folktales.Sadly, I couldn't get into this book at all. Half of it, Laya's PoV, is written in verse. I usually don...
  • Joshee Kun (조수아)
    I’m not ready for this. Could they have come for her already? I wish Tati was still here. I wish Mami had told me more…I didn't expect this book to be a combination of fantasy and history. Melanie and Solomon, my blogger friends, liked it a lot. And understandably so. The writing was remarkably poetic, evoking an atmosphere of magic and whimsy. As for me, my enjoyment was significantly reduced by certain tropes.At its core, The Sisters of the...
  • Hayley Chewins
    This book is unlike anything I've ever read. It's so beautifully crafted. It's utterly surprising, startling and fresh. It's a sister story, and a Jewish story, and a fairy tale, and a story about first love. It's magical and filled with the most delicious imagery. It's wonderful. Just wonderful. It'll make you believe in the power of language again.
  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum literary fantasy written in the tradition of books like Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale, The Sisters of the Winter Wood is Rena Rossner’s debut which blends magic and history with folklore and stories from her own Jewish ancestry. A nineteenth century narrative poem called Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti also provides much of the inspiration for the nove...
  • Lauren [DontGoBrekkerMyHeart]
    ‘He gives me a basketfull of fruit.“I can’t take this,” I say.“For your sister and youto share.” He puts it in my hands.’Not only is the cover to this story absolutely beautiful, but the content inside is amazing as well. It flips back and forth between prose and poetry, and I really enjoyed it. It added an extra depth and imagery to each of the sisters points of view. Made the story very unique.I was curious to see how Rena Rossner...
  • Kayla
    This review was originally posted on GracelingAccountant.EVERYONE PLEASE GET ON THIS! THIS IS CURRENTLY ON SALE FOR KINDLE ON AMAZON FOR ONLY 2.99 THIS BOOK IS I N C R E D I B L E Hey Ya’ll!This is my spoiler free review of Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner. This is an own voices historical fiction novel with fantastical elements, and I loved everything about it. I think I personally loved the story so much partly because my dad’s si...
  • *Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*
    The Sister Of The Winter Wood was a unusual and yet a fascinating and extremely atmospheric read indeed.For a debut novel, Rena Rossner really impressed me with her light touch, creative folklore and nicely fleshed out characters. The mythology behind the folklore is wonderful and gives the story a real, solid basis from which the real magic springs.This glorious and outlandish tale is told from the dual perspectives of two Jewish sisters, in a t...
  • mo
    ➜ Review also on my blog!->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->->Friends, I love this book. 💕 I think some readers who aren’t fans of verse in their novels may not enjoy it, but for anyone else, I highly recommend it. I want to say that before anything else because I went into reading this novel knowing very little other than that I loved its cover and found the synopsis enticing. I’m so glad I did. It captured my heart a ➜ Rev...
  • Shalini
    This is one of the slow reads which goes to create an aura from the first page. The story is told from the sisters point of view with a poem in every other chapter. The book has an electric feel to it that takes time to get used to. A Jewish story and a fairy tale retelling, it adds to a powerful imagery when strange men arrive to the village luring the sisters to their poisonous fruits. Laya gives in to the temptation and Liba does everything to...