The Wisdom of Winter
by Annie Seyler is one of those literary pieces that intelligently examines
themes of reality versus appearance. Six-year-old Beatrice has strived under
the shadow of her fashionable mother and father, a sweet, loving man. She is
very intuitive and innocent about the world outside. That is until tragedy hits
home and she loses her mother. She is thrust into a world she has never known
and that makes her question if she truly belongs. Moving from Vermont to San
Francisco as an adult, she struggles to fit in, embracing a personality that is
not truly hers, just to conform to society. But when she is forced by
circumstances to return to her childhood home, everything changes with her
experience with a horse in a derelict barn. Beatrice will have to choose
between walking the path of freedom and being bogged down by pretense. Which
will she choose?
This is a novel that is permeated with realism and readers will love Beatrice, a fully drawn character who experiences the emotions that are universal. When readers meet the young Beatrice, she is carefree, spirited, and intuitive. Readers will understand how death changes people and everything and the power of forgiveness. Some phrases and moments are hard to forget, with lessons about life that will guide readers in their unique experiences: “My mother asked for my forgiveness, but I withheld it and for years my refusal festered like a wound that wouldn’t heal.” Seyler has that economy of words that capture the essential without sacrificing detail. The prose is lyrical and the writing is filled with moments that force readers to pause and think about life and their own experiences. Beatrice is a resonant character and in developing this character, the author explores pertinent social issues. The Wisdom of Winter features vividly drawn and creative characters, descriptions that are realistic — scenes, setting, and characters — and prose that is delectable to the ears.