Beautiful Descriptive Prose – Netgalley Review

“When I first started reading “In the Shadow of Winter”, I was struck by the beautiful descriptive prose of the story. It was almost as if I were reading poetry rather than a novel. Then the plot caught me in its grasp and I found that the book was as much as mystery as it was a romance.

The story is about Eleanor Phillips, a young woman who is struggling to keep her Cotswold family home after the deprivations of World War II. She has lost her mother long since and her father more recently. Her engagement to the man she loved was abruptly broken years before. She has picked up her broken pieces and is trying to make a home and living for herself and the young boy she has taken in during the war years.

The book opens shortly after the end of the war with Eleanor struggling through a winter storm to rescue a vagrant stranger who is close to death from hypothermia. As she works to rescue him, she realizes that the vagrant is none other than the man she was once engaged to, Matthew Croft.

From that point on, the plot develops to a mystery and much suspense as well as a romance. While reading the book, I was reminded forcefully of books by Mary Stewart. While “In the Shadow of Winter” is its own book, the type of plot and suspense was, to me, reminiscent of so many books I have read and loved, including “The Ivy Tree”, “Airs Above the Ground”, “The Moon-spinners” and many more by Ms. Stewart. Ms Stewart was, and still is, one of my favorite authors of all time, so comparing Ms. Gray’s work to hers is a very high compliment.

I am happy to recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an all around good novel, with mystery, romance and suspense. It is definitely one that I plan to keep and also an author whose works I will look for in the future. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.”

Review by Vicky Leavitt for In the Shadow of Winter on netgalley.com