Often our backgrounds remain buried for years, yet when we are least expecting it they seem to return and turn lives upside down. In The Winters In Bloom by Lisa Tucker, we find how the unmentioned and somewhat unknown lives between two people intrude in dangerous ways. We follow the lives of Kyra and David Winter, a young couple extremely in love. Celebrate that love with a child also full of great generosity, you find a life worth living. What Kyra and David don’t know about each other though is about to tear their lives apart. It is through the grief they encounter that they finally learn what is really important.
David lost his first child, one born to his first wife. Through a terrible series of circumstances that ruined his marriage and put his ex-wife under psychiatric care. The aftermath was quite ugly and while he trusts Kyra explicitly he is still afraid for Michael, their son. After a rough time in school they decide home schooling is right for him. He lives a semi-restrictive life with parents who adore him. And yet he is loving and smart and a people pleaser. He wants everyone to be happy. As Kyra forces herself to relax her vigilance by allowing him some small freedom in the yard, he vanishes. While Kyra blames herself, they are both beside themselves. David is concerned that the disappearance may have something to do with his ex-wife. His mother disagrees; she has been helping her to regain her composure and sanity. Yet she too is concerned about the odd reactions recently.
While Kyra understands David’s concerns; she too is hiding a secret and worries that she is at fault for Michael’s disappearance. But how does she explain something so terrible to her husband? She needs to unburden, and yet she cannot. She is finally able to tell her story to David’s mother and at last share her concerns. The information is then shared with the police, and yet more surprises are in store. Can true healing come about through such emotion? Is it worth the risks in the end to have the love and family you really need?
Tucker has developed characters with such human emotions you feel their joy and their despair. Each of them carries a scar on their heart, and each feels unwilling to share the burden. Michael is the one true angel in the group, and he holds up his end of the story charmingly. The story is engrossing and hard to put down once begun. You feel the concern and anger as well as the confusion as each search themselves to find how they went so wrong and how their own personal demons have brought them to this very place and time.
The emotions in the story are rich and heartfelt, guiding you to the very depths of emotion the characters encounter. The tenderness and love are warm and enriching, and the hurts are extremely painful.
I would recommend this book for both the contemporary and romance reader. It would be an exceptional book for a club or reading group. There is suspense and fear to add to the reader’s emotions, and the pace of the story is strong with a smooth flow, making it difficult to put down. This could be a book that keeps you up past bedtime, so set the pace and enjoy the ride.