Imatge de l'autor

Cat Winters

Autor/a de In the Shadow of Blackbirds

7+ obres 1,980 Membres 167 Ressenyes 1 preferits

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Crèdit de la imatge: via Goodreads

Obres de Cat Winters

In the Shadow of Blackbirds (2013) 714 exemplars
The Cure for Dreaming (2014) 336 exemplars
The Uninvited (2015) 238 exemplars
The Steep and Thorny Way (2016) 197 exemplars
Odd & True (2017) 192 exemplars
Yesternight (2016) 176 exemplars
The Raven's Tale (2019) 127 exemplars

Obres associades

Slasher Girls and Monster Boys (2015) — Col·laborador — 446 exemplars


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The women in Ivy Rowan's family have long been gifted with being able to see the dead. The ghosts are heralds of death, warning the women that someone they know has or soon will die. Ivy has long viewed her gift as a curse. One evening in October of 1918, Ivy sees the ghost of her grandmother, the same night her father and brother have beaten and killed a German businessman in town.

At that time in American history, as the Great War rages, hostilities are high against all people and things German. The death of the German is not looked into too closely--he must have been deserving after all. Perhaps he didn't donate enough to the War cause or failed to turn his back on his own heritage completely. In another town, a German had been hung without trial or good cause, and the jury acquitted the mob who murdered him--believing they had done their patriotic duty.

As anti-German sentiment flourishes, so does the Spanish Influenza, a deadly virus which has taken the lives of many. Ivy caught the bug early on and finally feels herself coming around when her father and brother burst into the house with the news of the German's death. Ivy cannot take it anymore: the drunkenness of her father, the influence of her father on her young brother, and the violence. And so she sets off on her own at the age of twenty-five to make a life for herself.

Ivy has been a recluse for the past several years, rarely venturing out of her house. She has made a living giving piano lessons to area children. Ivy has neglected her childhood friendships and really has no one, outside of her mother. Still, she is determined to do what she must. The feeling and need to make restitution to the murdered German's brother is strong, and that is how, one evening, she finds herself at Daniel's doorstep, unsure what to say and how to act.

I went into The Uninvited with high hopes, I admit. The description lured me in immediately. I wanted to know more about this woman who could see ghosts, about the time period she lived in and everything else the story might hold for me. I was swept into the story right away and curious about Ivy. She's very naive in her own way, but also very smart. Even despite her fears, she takes what comes her way and makes the most of it. There was instance in which I questioned Ivy's judgement, but given the times and the sentiment of living in the moment, I suppose it wasn't that farfetched.

The novel has a host of interesting characters. There is May, a war widow, who has had her share of people looking down on her because she is beautiful and from somewhere else. There are the Red Cross women, Addie and Nella, who cannot drive an ambulance to save their lives, but who are determined to help victims suffering from the Spanish Influenza. Then Lucas whose loyalty to the American Protective League is unwavering, always with an eye out for those who might be unpatriotic. There are the ghosts, of course, relatives of Ivy's, including her brother, Billy, who lost his life in the War. There are the folk in the club, drinking despite the Prohibition, playing jazz and dancing as they try to forget the world outside. It is hard not to be caught up in the times, feel the tension and helplessness, and yet also taking joy in the moment.

I really liked Daniel, the brother of the German furniture store owner, the more I got to know him. He holds his secrets close to his vest. He has had a difficult time of it, not just in the United States, but in his home country of Germany as well. Daniel is full of anger, especially towards Ivy's family. And yet he has a definite soft spot for Ivy herself.

While everything about this novel is fiction, from the setting to the characters and their stories, there is truth in the history. Cat Winters does a good job of capturing the mood and desperateness of the times, including the horrors of war, the effects of fear and ignorance. I was really drawn into the time period and into the lives of the characters the author has created. I especially loved how everything came together in the end.

The Uninvited is not just a ghost story, but it is also one about redemption and hope. It is about missed opportunities and love found. As well as about finding one's way and letting go of the past. Was The Uninvited everything I hoped it would be? Yes and No. It wasn't, in the end, quite what I expected, but that was okay. In many ways, it was even better.
… (més)
LiteraryFeline | Hi ha 23 ressenyes més | Jun 29, 2023 |

I've reviewed this book as a part of an event I am hosting in September 2021 called GeekDis. GeekDis is a collaborative event for members of the disability community to talk about disability representation in pop culture. You can learn more about GeekDis here!

Originally posted on Just Geeking by.

Odd & True was not at all what I expected, and I’ll be frank, I was quite disappointed with the plot as a whole. This book is listed as fantasy, supernatural and paranormal, however, I personally would put it more in the magical realism category. I spent the majority of the book wondering if I had been fleeced; if there was actually going to be any real magic or paranormal creatures in it. Without giving too much away, I can confirm that yes, this book does actually exist in the realm of fantasy. However, if you’re like me and prefer your fantasy and paranormal novels to be chock-full of those things, then you’re going to be disappointed like I was.

This is essentially a story about two sisters, family and the stories we tell ourselves and are told to keep the monsters of reality at bay. It is very well written, it’s just not personally my cup of tea. From a disability representation perspective, it’s very good. Trudchen, aka Tru, became ill with Polio as a child and as a result her right leg grew at a different rate. This resulted in a discrepancy between her two limbs of two and a half inches. With the aid of a brace and shoe with a taller heel, she is able to walk short distances. Walking is painful for Tru as moving her right leg requires a great deal of force which aggravates her joints, especially her hip.

Throughout the book, Winters never forgets that Tru is always conscious of how she has to move and the pain that accompanies it. As someone with chronic pain, I tend to notice when authors write about chronic pain and then forget about it for the little things, only remembering it when something big happens (for example, getting out of a carriage). There is one scene in particular where Tru has to walk on snow, and I appreciated how Winters took the time to describe how awkward it was for Tru to walk on a completely different surface. A lot of people don’t realise that surface texture makes a huge difference for those of us with physical disabilities that affect our lower limbs.

Likewise, Winters takes on the issue of how people perceive Tru, which in 1909 is completely wrapped up in her identity as a woman as well. Intersectionality is a huge part of the disabled community, and so often it gets completely ignored.

While I wasn’t a big fan of the plot, from a disability perspective Odd & True is a great read.

For more of my reviews please visit my blog!
… (més)
justgeekingby | Hi ha 10 ressenyes més | Jun 6, 2023 |



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