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Closed For Winter

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Twenty years have passed since that day on the jetty but it is only now that Elise has found the strength to go back and face the events of her past. And so she begins to unravel all that has been tying her up, picking through that day, piece by piece, from beginning to end. Over and over again. But sometimes what you uncover is not what you were searching for, and Elise f Twenty years have passed since that day on the jetty but it is only now that Elise has found the strength to go back and face the events of her past. And so she begins to unravel all that has been tying her up, picking through that day, piece by piece, from beginning to end. Over and over again. But sometimes what you uncover is not what you were searching for, and Elise finds herself face to face with a truth she had not expected.


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Twenty years have passed since that day on the jetty but it is only now that Elise has found the strength to go back and face the events of her past. And so she begins to unravel all that has been tying her up, picking through that day, piece by piece, from beginning to end. Over and over again. But sometimes what you uncover is not what you were searching for, and Elise f Twenty years have passed since that day on the jetty but it is only now that Elise has found the strength to go back and face the events of her past. And so she begins to unravel all that has been tying her up, picking through that day, piece by piece, from beginning to end. Over and over again. But sometimes what you uncover is not what you were searching for, and Elise finds herself face to face with a truth she had not expected.

30 review for Closed For Winter

  1. 4 out of 5

    Helen McKenna

    Elise has lived most of her life in the shadow of her sister's disappearance from an Adelaide beach one hot summer's day. Although she was on the beach too, she did not see what happened to Frances. There are no clues, no evidence - just a gaping hole in the life of Elise and her mother, a hole that continues to haunt them both twenty years later. Elise lives her life desperately blending into the shadows, careful not to be noticed or offer an opinion. She keeps a photo of herself and her sister Elise has lived most of her life in the shadow of her sister's disappearance from an Adelaide beach one hot summer's day. Although she was on the beach too, she did not see what happened to Frances. There are no clues, no evidence - just a gaping hole in the life of Elise and her mother, a hole that continues to haunt them both twenty years later. Elise lives her life desperately blending into the shadows, careful not to be noticed or offer an opinion. She keeps a photo of herself and her sister taken that fateful summer and replays the day in her mind over and over. Her mother Dorothy has become obsessed with missing child stories, buying every newspaper available and cutting out any similar stories. Closed For Winter is a haunting but powerful story that explores the devastating impact a tragedy has on a family. Even worse than a death is a disappearance with no answers and no resolution. Elise and Dorothy live their lives each locked in their own prison and neither capable of helping the other. I found Elise frustrating at times, but on the other hand I could empathise with her desire to remain invisible and her inability to speak out. This is a beautifully written book, but I'm not sure I would have connected with the story as well if I had not seen the movie which gave such a powerful visual of the place and characters. I enjoyed the Adelaide setting, as it is a very under represented city in Australian fiction.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Robson

    Closed for winter is a wonderful haunting idea, skillfully done. A missing person, particularly a child is an event that has such wide spread repercussions. As a child the blown up photos of the missing Beaumont children had such a profound effect on me that I still remember how I felt when I saw the posters. I think Blain has written this very diffent novel exceedingly well. I only have two complaints. I felt there was just two much repetition in the first half of the novel and the mother was m Closed for winter is a wonderful haunting idea, skillfully done. A missing person, particularly a child is an event that has such wide spread repercussions. As a child the blown up photos of the missing Beaumont children had such a profound effect on me that I still remember how I felt when I saw the posters. I think Blain has written this very diffent novel exceedingly well. I only have two complaints. I felt there was just two much repetition in the first half of the novel and the mother was more caricature than character. Otherwise a thoughtful novel with a cleverly wrought ending.

  3. 5 out of 5

    maggie

    The painstakingly explored life of Elise to whom nothing much happens but whose character has been crushed since childhood by the experience of her older sister going missing. I read this on a visit to Adelaide so I enjoyed visual cross references but struggled to keep turning the pages and sometimes turned three at a time with seemingly no loss in the narrative.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Gough

    my workmate asked me what this book was about and I had to honestly say "not much really". This book reeks of Literature, which seems to be an excuse for slow to no plot. I get the feeling we will not resolve the case of the missing sister, rather spend a lot of time painstakingly analysing the world through a broken narrater. I don't think I will bother finishing this book. my workmate asked me what this book was about and I had to honestly say "not much really". This book reeks of Literature, which seems to be an excuse for slow to no plot. I get the feeling we will not resolve the case of the missing sister, rather spend a lot of time painstakingly analysing the world through a broken narrater. I don't think I will bother finishing this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Closed for Winter is a sad and haunting tale of a family broken by one life changing day. This book has so much depth to it. So many unspoken words yet the actions say so much. Blain has created unforgettable characters that you can't help but feel anguish and sadness for. And her setting was perfect for this harrowing story. Closed for Winter is a sad and haunting tale of a family broken by one life changing day. This book has so much depth to it. So many unspoken words yet the actions say so much. Blain has created unforgettable characters that you can't help but feel anguish and sadness for. And her setting was perfect for this harrowing story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Robyn333

    Never let anything get hold of you it could last for twenty years. Always find the answer and don't believe everything you are told. (Especially by your mother) I absolutely loved it, finding someone who has been used so badly and comes out of it ahead. Never let anything get hold of you it could last for twenty years. Always find the answer and don't believe everything you are told. (Especially by your mother) I absolutely loved it, finding someone who has been used so badly and comes out of it ahead.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carol-Anne

    I was completely enthralled by this book and read it in one sitting - must find some more Georgia Blain!!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Buse

    Ahh, I wanted so badly to enjoy this book, I really did, but I found the narrator irritating and boring, the characters uninspiring and the ending felt as thought the author just gave up halfway through the end. While I enjoyed some of the prose (I do have a penchant for present-tense writing), there was so much descriptive writing and so little plot that I found myself being so bored I had to put the book down. I did finish it, which is why I gave it two stars - I felt the mystery of the sister Ahh, I wanted so badly to enjoy this book, I really did, but I found the narrator irritating and boring, the characters uninspiring and the ending felt as thought the author just gave up halfway through the end. While I enjoyed some of the prose (I do have a penchant for present-tense writing), there was so much descriptive writing and so little plot that I found myself being so bored I had to put the book down. I did finish it, which is why I gave it two stars - I felt the mystery of the sister was worth the slog. SPOILER - it wasn't. The sister does not get found. There is a clumsy allusion to sexual abuse in the last ten, twenty pages, but this remains unresolved, the narrator remains a spineless, codependent drip, and you finish the book feeling slightly cheated. All in all, I would not recommend reading this. There are so many other books that are better and easier to read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lily Mulholland

    This book, while meditative, lyrical and historically convincing, reminded me of the Man Booker Prize-winning but excruciatingly dull The Finkler Question, in which a man of no substance lives an underwhelming life over which he has no agency. He does not learn; he does not grow. He fades from memory even before the book ends. I didn’t care what became of him and I feel the same way about the main character (who is not a protagonist) of this storm, who just lets life happen to her and seems to l This book, while meditative, lyrical and historically convincing, reminded me of the Man Booker Prize-winning but excruciatingly dull The Finkler Question, in which a man of no substance lives an underwhelming life over which he has no agency. He does not learn; he does not grow. He fades from memory even before the book ends. I didn’t care what became of him and I feel the same way about the main character (who is not a protagonist) of this storm, who just lets life happen to her and seems to learn nothing from it. Disappointing, as I really wanted to like this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Felicity

    Beautifully written with a slow writing style. The actor's first book and my first Georgia Blain. I'd have given it four stars had we been told the fate of Frances - I hate being left in limbo! Closed for Winter is a little bit coming of age, a little bit mystery and a little bit whodunit, however the who, is never revealed. Beautifully written with a slow writing style. The actor's first book and my first Georgia Blain. I'd have given it four stars had we been told the fate of Frances - I hate being left in limbo! Closed for Winter is a little bit coming of age, a little bit mystery and a little bit whodunit, however the who, is never revealed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andy Kabanoff

    Having grown up as a newspaper boy at the time of the disappearance of the Beaumont children, and the Wanda beach murders, this strikes a powerful chord for me. A woman whose life stopped 20 years ago when her elder sister disappeared from an Adelaide beach. The story flashes from her current life - on hold - to glimpses of the past, trying to reconstruct what happened. Wonderful!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    Strong characters and a sad harrowing story.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Liz Passmore

    Beautiful short book. Captured a damaged life and the taste and smell of an Australian coastal city.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mmeg16

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. didn't like didn't like

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rose Christine

    Georgia Blain at her beautiful best

  16. 5 out of 5

    Philippa

    Georgia Blain is a beautiful writer. Closed for Winter is an evocative and haunting story about a woman whose older sister went missing when she was a child. Now in her late twenties, Elise finds relationships, be it with her mother Dorothy, her boyfriend Martin, or her workmates and neighbours, difficult. The disappearance of her sister is still a mystery. Both her mother's health and her relationship with Martin are deteriorating. It's a bleak story, with little redemption, and Elise is a toug Georgia Blain is a beautiful writer. Closed for Winter is an evocative and haunting story about a woman whose older sister went missing when she was a child. Now in her late twenties, Elise finds relationships, be it with her mother Dorothy, her boyfriend Martin, or her workmates and neighbours, difficult. The disappearance of her sister is still a mystery. Both her mother's health and her relationship with Martin are deteriorating. It's a bleak story, with little redemption, and Elise is a tough character to like, despite the reader empathising with her difficult childhood, because she is so meek and passive. But it's a testament to Georgia Blain's writing that you keep turning the pages and find even the weirdest and most frustrating moments make your heart wince rather than put the book aside in irritation. An interesting story about siblings, love, family and why we keep going home, even if we spent years trying to escape.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I thought this book was well written but I found it hard to relate to Elise because she was so meek and let people walk all over her. The only thing that kept me reading, despite my annoyance with her, was the mystery of what happened to her sister. And I found the resolution to the book/mystery very disappointing. Almost like the writer didn't know what she wanted the ending to be. I thought this book was well written but I found it hard to relate to Elise because she was so meek and let people walk all over her. The only thing that kept me reading, despite my annoyance with her, was the mystery of what happened to her sister. And I found the resolution to the book/mystery very disappointing. Almost like the writer didn't know what she wanted the ending to be.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Gray

    I read this a couple of weeks ago -only took a couple of nights -before I read The Solitude of Prime Numbers. The former is an "okay" written book with a more satisfying ending. and the latter being a much better book with an less than satisfying ending. Why is it that I think there should be a clearly defined resolution??? Is this a consequence of my education? I read this a couple of weeks ago -only took a couple of nights -before I read The Solitude of Prime Numbers. The former is an "okay" written book with a more satisfying ending. and the latter being a much better book with an less than satisfying ending. Why is it that I think there should be a clearly defined resolution??? Is this a consequence of my education?

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Williams

    I've been hanging out to read this for so long and hunted high and low for a copy. I'm delighted to say I was not disappointed! I finished it in under 24 hours! Gripping, tragic and ultimately...well... It was so worth the search! Georgia Blain deserves every accolade! Her writing absolutely takes you to the moment and I've started to incorporate passages into my teaching. I've been hanging out to read this for so long and hunted high and low for a copy. I'm delighted to say I was not disappointed! I finished it in under 24 hours! Gripping, tragic and ultimately...well... It was so worth the search! Georgia Blain deserves every accolade! Her writing absolutely takes you to the moment and I've started to incorporate passages into my teaching.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jelenie

    I read (well, mostly skimmed) this book on a recent road trip. All the characters are depressingly unlikeable especially Elise, who was one of the meekest women I've ever come across. There is the case of the missing sister but it wasn't really resolved in the end despite the synopsis hinting that the 'truth' will be revealed. I read (well, mostly skimmed) this book on a recent road trip. All the characters are depressingly unlikeable especially Elise, who was one of the meekest women I've ever come across. There is the case of the missing sister but it wasn't really resolved in the end despite the synopsis hinting that the 'truth' will be revealed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mel Smith

    It's been years since I read this one (and later saw the film), but it has stayed with me because of its emotional power and evocative descriptions both of landscape (seaside Adelaide) and family interactions. It's been years since I read this one (and later saw the film), but it has stayed with me because of its emotional power and evocative descriptions both of landscape (seaside Adelaide) and family interactions.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I have finished this book. Unlike Carol I did not find it an easy read, I felt annoyed with Elise I wanted to shake her, and I felt at the end that it was really unresolved.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Trish Tuthill

    This story is written in a style that climbs inside your head and settles disturbingly in. Unfolding with perfect pace and a conclusion that is satisfying. A great read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lesley Moseley

    Not really worth the 3 stars except the sense of place is well written. Dreary characters, but also well defined.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Margot McGovern

    Really cool to read a book set in Adelaide. The voice was almost Nabokovian in parts, great read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Quite a sad story about a family in perpetual crisis. Telling the truth and facing it's consequences can be devastating but not facing them may be worse. Quite a sad story about a family in perpetual crisis. Telling the truth and facing it's consequences can be devastating but not facing them may be worse.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Interesting read

  28. 4 out of 5

    tee

    x

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lexi Shorehill

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sahra

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