Friday, April 11, 2014

Audiobook Review: Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke

Release date: March 25, 2014
Published by: Harper Audio
Length: 6 hours and 33 min
Source: Nashville Public Library
Narrator: Justine Eyre

Laura Kasischke, the critically acclaimed and nationally bestselling poet and author of The Raising, returns Mind of Winter, a dark and chilling thriller that combines domestic drama with elements of psychological suspense and horror—an addictive tale of denial and guilt that is part Joyce Carol Oates and part Chris Bohjalian.

On a snowy Christmas morning, Holly Judge awakens with the fragments of a nightmare floating on the edge of her consciousness. Something followed them from Russia. Thirteen years ago, she and her husband Eric adopted baby Tatty, their pretty, black-haired Rapunzel, from the Pokrovka Orphanage #2. Now, at fifteen, Tatiana is more beautiful than ever—and disturbingly erratic.

As a blizzard rages outside, Holly and Tatiana are alone. With each passing hour, Tatiana’s mood darkens, and her behavior becomes increasingly frightening . . . until Holly finds she no longer recognizes her daughter.

What a disappointment! I can't believe I put myself through hours of listening to this story all because I was promised a psychological thriller with a shocking twist. Sure, there was a twist, but reading reviews that used words like "mind-blowing", "surreal", and "unbelievable" made it sound waaaaay more interesting than it actually was.

Mind of Winter is full of repetition. We're often told that something has "followed them home from Russia" and have to endure Holly's obsession with her daughter's perfect appearance..her long jet-black hair, her perfect teeth, her gorgeous eyes, her lovely complexion. Over and over and over again. And when she's not repeating herself, she's constantly reflecting on her daughter's adoption from Siberia. 

In the beginning we learn that Holly has a somewhat strained relationship with her teenage daughter and it seems like a normal mother vs. bratty teen situation. Then there are frequent occurrences where Tatiana will suddenly leave the room, or not respond to Holly, or take naps, or appear behind Holly without her realizing it. Tatiana's behavior becomes increasingly bizarre until we finally reach the conclusion. 

In my opinion Mind of Winter was just a lot of rambling from a woman with questionable mental stability. I'm only giving it two stars because I was able to make it through the whole 6 1/2 hours. That's got to count for something, right?


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