A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything.
Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness, and an evil man of undeniable magnetism, that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before.
In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real-life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality, and, ultimately, great love.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By T on 27-03-15
Sectrets, love and loss with an epic backdrop
Patrick Gale has spun a wonderful tale about a misfit in Edwardian England who tries to re-build his life as a Canadian homesteader. It is an evocative story of secrets, love and loss. I am keen to avoid spoilers, so will avoid mentioning other themes that might detract from your enjoyment. It is a little slow to start, but this gave me time to get used to the author’s slightly nasal narration. However, the story is so personal, being inspired by his own family history, that his heart-felt reading conveys a depth of feeling that might elude many accomplished actors. This book is quite unlike his other books available on audible - more challenging and possibly more satisfying as a result. But they are all 5-star listens and I only wish more of his novels were available.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
By Kindle Customer on 02-04-15
Not the sort of book I usually read, I read fantasy and adventure books usually but heard a review on the radio and it interested me. I was not at all disappointed. it was excellent and I am now very tempted to go ahead and read more of Patrick Gale :-)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Linda on 11-10-17
A story too poignant not to be based on truth
I am a huge fan of Patrick gale and have loved all his books. His was perhaps not the best narrator although I did get used to him after a few chapters. The character of Harry Gale will stay with me. I feel sure that this story must be based on truth however fragile. Read it and love it as I did. Petra, Paul and Harry will surely get under your skin.
By Ben on 25-06-15
Patrick Gale has long been my favourite author. His work is always excellent, but this book is really outstanding. The way he drew upon his family history to write it is fascinating, and I would love to have access to a list of the facts to see what he had to work with.
The story of a gay man in Edwardian society, and the raw emotionality of his relationships was harrowing at times, and sad at others, with a bit of murder mystery thrown in.
The only criticism that I would make is that I was often confused about the period. Sometimes I thought it was Victorian, then Edwardian, and then during WWI. It was all of those, I suppose, but moving between past and present was a tad confusing for me. It wasn't until towards the end that I had a firm grip on what period we had been in at various times. Gale has a lovely voice, but his narration was a bit lacking in that he doesn't really do accents or different voices for different characters very well, which would have helped. Still it is nice to hear him.
Definitely worth a download, and will probably be the first audio book that I ever listen to a second (and maybe third) time.