Thursday, August 4, 2016


One of my older books get a fresh new review. If you haven't already read it, perhaps you should!
Reviewed by Raanan Geberer for Readers' Favorite

As Winter by Emily-Jane Hills Orford begins, it’s the early 1980s in Halifax, Canada. Young Joseph Alan Tomah -- part Jewish, part Christian and part Native American -- is full of resentment. His parents have been killed in a car crash, he’s living with his aunt, and he has to deal with a neighborhood bully who calls him an “Injun.” Then one day, his aunt shows him some valuable cellos that his grandfather, a famous violin maker and repairer, had showcased in his shop in pre-war Paris and that had been sent across the Atlantic with his mother, then a child, near the beginning of World War II. Joseph starts taking lessons and becomes a prodigy. Then, however, someone breaks into the house and vandalizes the cellos. Soon people around Joseph start dying, one by one. What does the unknown perpetrator want? Does he want the cellos, the gold that the family had smuggled to the New World along with the cellos – or something even worse?
It’s obvious from Winter, which is part of the Four Seasons series (appropriately, Joseph adapts the fourth concerto, Winter, from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for cello) that Emily-Jane Hills Orford has a great love, and understanding of, classical music and the world of stringed instruments. She also knows a lot about the customs and beliefs of both traditional Judaism and the Mi’kmaw, the tribe of which Joseph’s father was a member. The suspense really moves things along; we don’t know who the villain is or what his motives are until the book is nearing its end. Winter is also very well written. All in all, it combines three genres – historical, musical and mystery – and does so very well.

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