Author: Natasha Carthew
Genre: Young Adult, Adventure
Release Date: September, 2013 (Australia)
Source: Bloomsbury Sydney. Thank you!
Goodreads | The Reading Room
On a frozen Cornish moor, a fifteen-year-old girl lives in a trailer with her dad and little brother. Ennor's mother left years ago, when things started to go wrong - and gradually their world has fallen apart. Now her father's gravely ill, school has closed, and Ennor knows they're going to take her brother away if things don't pick up soon. So three days before Christmas, when the wind is cold and her dad's health takes a turn for the worse, Ennor packs a blanket, a map, a saucepan and a gun into her rucksack, and sets off to find her mum and bring her home. Ennor thinks she knows where she's going. But this journey will change her life for ever - it becomes a battle for survival, a heartbreaking story of love and friendship, and a fable about not finding what you were looking for, but finding something more important instead . . .Review by Nara
To be quite honest, it's hard to put a finger on what exactly I liked about this book. I mean, obviously I liked it, seeing as though I gave it a 4 star rating, but for some reason, it's really quite difficult for me to articulate why. Partially this may be because while the book was an enjoyable read overall, there was no one thing that particularly stood out for me. The characters were well developed, but not amazing. The plot was pretty average. Although if I perhaps had to choose one thing that sets this book apart from others, it would be the narrative voice.
Winter Damage has quite an interesting narrative voice. It's written in third person perspective from Ennor's point of view, with quite a distinctive voice- think Blood Red Road or The Assassin's Curse or even The Knife of Never Letting Go. Carthew puts a weird twang on the characters' speech which aided in creating quite memorable characters- or at the very least their speech was memorable. After reading the book, I almost caught myself thinking "I int" to myself instead of "I'm not".
Ennor Carne was alone in the world and she would die alone. This was her truth, her destiny.In terms of the characters: while I did like them, I didn't at any point feel any connection to them. I was simply observing them, not really feeling what they were feeling (as I feel should happen in a good book). The greatest evidence for this was probably the fact that I felt nothing whatsoever when one of the central characters dies (DUN DUN DUN!). I'm also quite unsure how I felt about how quickly the relationship between Ennor and Sonny (a gypsy girl Ennor meets on her "adventures") built up. It was really kind of an insta-friendship (does that term even exist? Well if it didn't before, it does now :P)
The book on the whole is pretty slow. And not a lot happens. Well, I suppose that actually isn't true. Quite a few things happen, but they're not really exciting things. No actually that's not true either, some things are exciting, but for some reason they just didn't impact me as profoundly as I would have expected. For example, one character kills another (keeping it vague and spoiler free hehe). My response: yeah, okay... I guess in a way, the plot just seemed a bit unrealistic to me. I do have to say, though, I thought the ending was perfect, and really tied together the story rather nicely.
It's a bit difficult to put a label on the genre of the novel. I guess it's technically a post-apocalyptic or dystopian, but there was actually a feel to it that made it seem like it was set in the past. If you like lyrically slow writing and memorable characters with weird-ass accents, then I'd definitely recommend this book to you.