The Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse
World War I robbed England and France of an entire generation of friends, lovers and futures. In Freddie Watson’s case, the battlefields took his beloved brother and, at times, his peace of mind.
In the winter of 1928, still seeking some kind of resolution, Freddie is travelling through the beautiful but forbidding French Pyrenees. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Freezing and dazed, he stumbles through the woods, emerging in a tiny village, where he finds an inn to wait out the blizzard. There he meets Fabrissa, a lovely young woman also mourning a lost generation.
Over the course of one night, Fabrissa and Freddie share their stories. By the time dawn breaks, Freddie will have unearthed a tragic mystery that goes back through the centuries, and discovered his own role in the life of this old remote town.
After reading my first Mosse book a few weeks ago I knew I had to read more of her books. Thankfully, my TBR trolley had a Mosse book sat on it which I am ashamed to say has been sat on there for over a year. I really wish I had started reading Mosse’s books earlier as I could not put this book down.
Freddie is a lost soul. The death of Freddie’s brother has affected him deeply and instead of getting better his grief has slowly got worse. This has left him wandering around Europe trying to find some way to cope with his loss. This ends up with Freddie losing control of his car whilst in a snowstorm in France and ending up in a tiny village called Nulle which is very strange.
The village is isolated and the hotel Freddie finds currently has no guests because it is not the season but the landlady airs the room and tries everything she can to make Freddie feel comfortable, including inviting him to a village get together. At this get together Freddie meets the stunning Fabrissa. Fabrissa is another lost soul and she decides to tell her story to Freddie.
As Freddie and Fabrissa exchange their stories you begin to feel the emotion of both stories but as Fabrissa starts to tell her story you realise that it is a lot darker and that something is not quite right.
The story is beautifully written and I absolutely loved the descriptions. It is written in first person and Mosse has done a brilliant job of getting the personality and character of Freddie across. This would have been a fantastic read for the spooky season but I am pleased that I read it this month as Autumn arrives as it felt like the perfect book for the season change. I can’t wait to read my next Mosse book and I give this brilliant book 5 out of 5 Dragons.
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About the author
Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), and Citadel (2012), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate’s new novel, The Taxidermist’s Daughter is out now.
Kate is the Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (previously the Orange Prize) and in June 2013, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to literature. She lives in Sussex.