Monday, February 26, 2024

Book Review: Last Winter

Last Winter
by Carrie Mac
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was not what I had hoped for. A small part of it was about wilderness survival; but it was mostly about a wife and mom, and her bi-polar disorder that ravaged both her, her husband, and her family. Which is not to say it wasn’t well written, because it was. To the point where it had my own mental health reacting to the words of the story. My anxiety spiked multiple times during this story; not because of the cold, winter, or avalanche; instead it was because of the intensity of Mom’s actions, thoughts, and struggles.

I don’t know why this is marketed the way it is. The Last Winter is NOT a story about a town or avalanche at its core. It’s actually about a little girl and her bi-polar mother, and amazing father. It’s about how hard it is to keep a family together when one person is unstable, unpredictable, and hard to manage. And it’s sooo incredibly intense because the author herself is bi-polar.
I love that this is written by a Canadian queer woman with a mental health issue (which is awfully close to what my own bio could say…). I just wish I’d known more of what I was going into in advance.

It’s possible I’d give this 3-stars in another situation, just for being other than expected, but I can’t imagine doing so given how much this book affected me. The writing is brilliant AND (most importantly to this Canadian) it’s an actual reflection of how dangerous snow and cold actually are!! I cannot emphasize how important it is that hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration (even when surrounded by snow) and other cold ailments are properly portrayed. If for no other reason than because I live in a cold and sometimes dangerously cold place, I think it’s important people remember that Mother Nature has always been able to beat our species.

While I’m so glad to have read this, I’m also glad to put it behind me and move on. It was just too intense in ways I wasn’t ready for.

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

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1 comment:

Leonore Winterer said...

This one sounds like a bit of a roller coaster ride for you! I'm genuinly interested though, not least of all because of the author's personal experience.