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A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore

A Spell of Winter

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Shortlisted for the Best of the Orange Best 2010 by the Orange Prize Youth Panel.

Winner of the 1996 Orange Prize for Fiction. This is a marvellous novel about forbidden passions and thwarted love by one of the UK's finest writers. A Spell of Winter won the prestigious Orange Prize and deservedly so given its lyrical writing without a word out of place. You'll also be completely captivated by the skilfully crafted characters and by the love story and eventual redemption.

If you like Helen Dunmore you might also like to read books by Esther Freud, Emma Tennant and David Benioff.


A Spell of Winter by Helen Dunmore

Catherine Perry and her brother, Rob, do not know why they have been abandoned by their parents. In the house of their grandfather, 'the man from nowhere', they make a passionate refuge for themselves against the terror of family secrets. While the world outside moves to the brink of war, their sibling love becomes fraught with dangers. But as Catherine fights free of the past, the spell of winter that has held her in its grasp begins to break.


'An intensely gripping book...written so seductively that some passages sing out from the page, like music for the eyes' - Penny Perrick, Sunday Times

'A hugely involving story which often stops you in your tracks with the beauty of its writing - Carol McDaid, Observer

'An electrifying and original talent, a writer whose style is characterized by a lyrical, dreamy intensity' - Marianne Brace, Guardian

About the Author

Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore was the author of fourteen novels. Her first, Zennor in Darkness, explored the events which led to D H Lawrence’s expulsion from Cornwall (on suspicion of spying) during the First World War. It won the McKitterick Prize. Her third novel, A Spell of Winter, won the inaugural Orange Prize, now the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Siege, set during the Siege of Leningrad, was described by Antony Beevor as ‘a world-class novel’ and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Orange Prize.

Helen Dunmore’s work has been translated into more than thirty languages and she was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. She died in June 2017.

Author photo © Caroline Forbes

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Book Info

Publication date

5th September 1996


Helen Dunmore

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Penguin Books Ltd


Paperback (b Format)
320 pages


Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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