Tuesday, April 1, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Mind of Winter by Laura Kasischke

Title: Mind of Winter
Author: Laura Kasischke
Genre: Adult Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Harper
Release Date: March 25/2014
Acquired:  Print ARC provided by publisher
Goodreads: ADD

On a snowy Christmas morning, Holly Judge awakens, the fragments of a nightmare-something she must write down-floating on the edge of her consciousness.

Something followed them from Russia.

On another Christmas morning thirteen years ago, she and her husband Eric were in Siberia to meet the sweet, dark-haired Rapunzel they desperately wanted. How they laughed at the nurses of Pokrovka Orphanage #2 with their garlic and their superstitions, and ignored their gentle warnings. After all, their fairy princess Tatiana-baby Tatty-was perfect.

As the snow falls, enveloping the world in its white silence, Holly senses that something is not right, has not been right in the years since they brought their daughter-now a dangerously beautiful, petulant, sometimes erratic teenager-home. There is something evil inside this house. Inside themselves. How else to explain the accidents, the seemingly random and banal misfortunes. Trixie, the cat. The growth on Eric's hand. Sally the hen, their favorite, how the other chickens turned on her. The housekeeper, that ice, a bad fall. The CDs scratched, every one.

But Holly must not think of these things. She and Tatiana are all alone. Eric is stuck on the roads and none of their guests will be able to make it through the snow. With each passing hour, the blizzard rages and Tatiana's mood darkens, her behavior becoming increasingly disturbing and frightening. Until, in every mother's worst nightmare, Holly finds she no longer recognizes her daughter.


I finished this book almost 3 days ago now, and I've yet to spend a night since, NOT thinking about it. Of not going over and over in my head the subtle terrors. Mind of Winter was a punch to the senses, with THE most agonizing build-up. I use the word agonizing in a positive light, but sometimes it really did become too much. This book started off like a screeching kettle, and no one pulled the plug, ever, not until you arrived at the end, and there was no tea to be made from it, only nightmares.

Holly Judge wakes up late from a drunken stupor on Christmas morning, to find that something exists in the far corners of her mind, a nagging thought; a truth that she can't quite get a grasp on. Her husband leaves the house in a blur, to pick up out-of-town guests, so she's left with her adopted teenage daughter, Tatiana, and there is much Christmas dinner prepping to do! Holly attempts to begin her day, trying desperately to enlist the help of Tatiana, who seems to have grown even more hormonal overnight. Holly brushes it off as teenage angst, Tatiana is 15 now, it is to be expected. But something is off..something is definitely off...right? Tatiana begins to behave sporadically, a freak snow storm builds steadily outside, Holly remembers now....

Anxiety is an understatement. I was flat out in DISTRESS while reading Mind of Winter. The narrative takes place over the course of about 6-8 hours, and not one second of it is spent in quiet, whispered words, or calm, soothing thoughts. It's GO GO GO! Build tension, build tension, BAM! I'm broken. Laura Kasischke is definitely a talented writer, and has chosen the right genre for her craft. Mind of Winter is best left going into completely blind. You need to avoid anticipating the twists, and any small tid-bit of information that could be deemed foreshadowing. The mystery could have been solved early on, I knew that once I got to the conclusion. But that was the beauty of this book, it didn't give you a chance to stop for a second, and pick up on "clues". You couldn't HELP but read frantically, holding on the your heart for fear of it exploding.

Yes, Mind of Winter was a psychological ride like no other, but, sadly, it was a little too much for me. I like my thrillers to have a slow, sweet build; my anxiety dial turned down a bit more. But that's not to say that this narrative won't get you where you want to be hit. The back story in Mind of Winter was intensely fascinating, and eye-opening. There were spreads of information about foreign orphanages that MUST have been steeped in truth. 

I'm interested in experiencing this book through audio, it may very well throw a whole new spin on it.

Recommended for fans of: Edgar Allen Poe, Psychological Thrillers, Mystery.


Laura Kasischke (pronounced Ka-ZISS-kee) was raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry, 2012.

She has published eight novels, two of which have been made into feature films—“The Life Before Her Eyes,”and “Suspicious River”—and eight books of poetry, most recently "Space, in Chains."

She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as several Pushcart Prizes and numerous poetry awards and her writing has appeared in Best American Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Harper’s and The New Republic.

She has a son and step-daughter and lives with her family and husband in Chelsea, Michigan. She is Allan Seager Colleagiate Professor of English Language & Literature at the University of Michigan.

Contact Links


Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to Harper for sending me a print copy to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour

1 comment:

  1. The reviews alone are giving me the heebie jeebies! And I agree about the audio -- I'm sure it's amazing!

    Thanks for being on the tour!


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