User Goodreads Review
The writing was simple and easy to understand which I liked because I saw no reason for it to “wow” the reader, because personally I felt that it made the lines talking about grief more powerful since it wasn’t overly poetic and instead more “raw”.
I did like how there was no painful slow start and as the book progressed we gathered information that helps us piece together what has happened in the past and how it affected the characters, instead of the author rushing that narrative in the beginning. The pace also made it easier to keep me engaged. I admit I was a bit worried of how it was going to end and if it was going to be a rushed ending because I was getting near the end and there was still no type of resolve, BUT personally I thought it ended decently.
He is a retired cop trying to find his missing daughter and he became an alcoholic because of it. He does his best to be optimistic that he will find her and find out what happened to her, even though his obsession with the case is killing him mentally and physically and hurting his marriage. Personally, I cared for him when I felt bad that his wife kept on blaming him for Megan’s disappearance and saying how much she hates him and doesn’t love him, as if he doesn’t blame himself and is suffering as much as her. He also still loves her deeply and I thought that was heartbreaking especially since Lisa treats him so poorly.
She is the mother of Megan and she is an alcoholic who takes medication for her anxiety. She is a huge mess emotionally. She has gotten to the point in her grieving where she accepted that Megan is dead and they will never find her, not even her bones. She is also a huge bitch to Tom and I dislike her, BUT I don’t think she is supposed to be liked and more be a showcase of what grieving can do to someone. She is full of rage, grief and sadness that she has become a toxic person because it is easier to drown in self-pity and sorrows than try to get help or look to a new beginning. So in a way I did like her character because I felt like she was one of the devastating parts of grief.
He is the private investigator that Tom hired for the case. He is a drug addict and divorced. The only time I had felt slightly bad for him was when he lost his family because of a domestic dispute and while it was an accident that he harmed his ex-wife, in the end it doesn’t matter because he still did it and I do like that he acknowledges that.
She is the assistant of Marshall and a hell of a good investigator. She has OCD and can’t step on cracks when she is outside even when she is running away from danger. She does self-harm and that is part of her character so it is mentioned frequently. She is my favorite character because she is such a badass and can be sassy, and she is relatable such as preferring animals over people. She appears very brave but is in fact very scared and anxious but she will go out of her comfort zone and go into danger just to help with the case, AND she is honestly a very caring person especially over Marshall. One of my favorite lines about her that was very relatable was: ‘It was that Hannah lacked compassion, it was the opposite. She didn’t want to create a personal relationship with any of these people because she would’ve become very obsessed with their tragedies as much as they were. There’d be conversations after meetings, phone call check-ins, weekly lunches, and she’d probably end up going to church with them. It was all part of her obsessive mentality.’
I loved the way the writer wrote Tom’s, Lisa’s and Hannah’s grief. For Tom and Lisa, the loss of their child had broken their relationship. I have heard that in situations where your child goes missing, it will either strengthen your relationship or break it completely because sometimes staying together is just a reminder of your child and that reopens wounds every time.
Tom had a bit of hope that Megan was still alive, but overall he just wanted to know what happened to her. He did his best to mend his marriage because that is all he had now so he was obsessively trying to find Megan and was not willing to accept that his marriage was over. He didn’t want to completely accept that everything has now changed and things were never going to go back to the way it was even if he did find out what had happened to Megan.
Lisa was so destroyed by the loss of Megan that she was furious with him and hated his existence because it was “his fault” and he was still trying to find Megan. She blamed him because she had no one else to blame and she was just a huge bitch to him, which I felt was a realistic broken and toxic mentality that she developed from the loss which was “fuck this, fuck everything, fuck everyone. I’m so broken that nothing matters to me anymore” and while it made me hate her for how she treated Tom, I do feel that she just gave up and gave into self-pity and just became toxic because there was nothing worth caring for anymore.
For Hannah, it was the little things that changed when her older sister died. She could never ride a plane anymore because her sister was the one that comforted her. She didn’t talk about her crushes to anyone because she always told her sister. She didn’t have anyone that would recommend bands to her. She no longer had someone to talk through problems and feel better. So she doesn’t open up to people and doesn’t try to make friends (not including Marshall) because she lost her only best friend.
Whom the main character was began to get confusing, it wasn’t a big problem but it later became apparent that Tom was no longer the main character since it frequently switched to Hannah’s perceptive, it just felt odd in a way. Speaking of ‘it just felt odd’ was the switching of perspectives between characters, sometimes it wasn’t obvious that it switched and it was a bit confusing but this also wasn’t a big problem.
I really enjoyed this book and it made me keep reading because I wanted to know how certain things would play out and if Tom was going to find out what happened to Megan. I love Hannah’s character because she was relatable and she was quite entertaining which kept me wanting to read more of her. She’s such a great addition to the story. The big reason I love The Fear of Winter is because of how good the grief was written and it always had me saying ‘wow that’s exactly how it feels like’.
I would definitely encourage you to read this book if you find the synopsis interesting since I really enjoyed it, BUT you should also keep in mind of the triggers, some you can skip in the book but others such as self-harm, depression and drug usage appear in the book often.
Listen to an excerpt from The Fear of Winter: