Daughter of Winter

Written by Pat Lowery Collins
Review by Patricia O’Sullivan

Twelve-year-old Addie is alone. Her father has gone off to California with the Forty-Niners and her mother and brother have just died of the flux. And while the silence of the house disturbs Addie, she can’t bear the thought of being sent to live with another family in town, possibly to be treated as a servant. But then an old native woman keeps appearing in the yard, and Addie is scared. Fleeing to the woods, Addie does her best to survive the New England winter, but she is always cold, always hungry. In the end, it is the old native woman who helps Addie to survive while helping the young girl to understand who she truly is.

While there are some strong moments in this novel, particularly the poetic bookends, overall I found it lacked the direction and tension to keep me interested. The opening is very strong, but then very little happens – even though there is often the potential for interesting plot twists that the author dose not pursue, such as a bully’s pursuit of Addie, the bigotry to Addie’s best friend, and the return of Addie’s father.