Publication: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books / ABRAMS
Emmeline knows she’s not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement. The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters. Living with the shame of her grandmother’s insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.
When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it’s an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean—even if she has eyes for another. But before she’s forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can’t help but follow. The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect. Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price. If Emmeline isn’t careful, she will be next.
This book sort of reminded me of the movie The Village. I remember liking the movie at first, then once I found out what was really going on towards the end, I didn’t like it so much. But as I kept reading, I was keeping my fingers crossed that this book wouldn’t exactly be like that movie because I was really getting into it.
Emmeline keeps dreaming about the woods. She feels like they are calling out to her so strongly at times and she isn’t sure why or what it means. So her curiosity gets the best of her and she risks punishment by venting farther into the woods to see what she can find.
Emmeline was brave, she just doesn’t realize it at first. She worries too much about her ‘Stain’ and her family's past. Emmeline's Grandma was punished (murdered) several years ago for breaking the communities rules. And because of that past transgression, Emmeline is referred to as being 'Stained.' I was so frustrated that these Council Leaders would make anyone especially young people carry the burden of a family members past sin. At times I wanted to shake Emmeline and everyone who gave her trouble and say ‘You are not you Grandma. Her ‘sin’ is not yours just because you share the same blood." It’s ridiculous. Anyways my little rant is over…
I really enjoyed Winterkill. Much more than I had originally anticipated. And I am happy to say, it wasn't exactly like The Village. Thankfully. When I would put it down to go run errands or other things, I found my mind wandering back to Emmeline, Tom, Brother Stockholm, and the other people in the village. I needed wanted to know what would happen next. I would definitely watch out for other books from this author in the future.
RATING: 4 ½ out of 5.
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