Make Winter Come Again

Headstone of WWI soldierIf you have time to read only one vintage novel this year, make it A. S. M. Hutchinson’s 1922 chart-topper If Winter Comes.

The plot begins to roll when Mark Sabre discovers that he and his bride do not laugh at the same jokes. As time passes, he discovers they really have nothing in common at all.

Mark retreats into his work in educational publishing, depending for intellectual companionship on two neighbors who have eccentricities of their own.

Mark occasionally sees his soul mate, Nona, now married to the emotionally abusive Lord Tybar, as she passes through Penny Green en route to somewhere else. Only the outbreak of World War I keeps Mark from helping Nona escape from her intolerable marriage.

Mark’s honest heart and instance of seeing things from other people’s perspective renders him incapable of seeing his wife’s and co-workers’ behind-the-scenes machinations.

Hutchinson accentuates the intricate plot and vivid characters with an extraordinary sense of pacing. As Mark gets swept up in events over which he has no control, the story accelerates so readers feel Mark’s loss of control and helplessness.

Hutchinson will make you laugh, and weep, and pause to read aloud lines that glow with a pearly sheen.

If Winter Comes
A. S. M. Hutchinson
Grosset & Dunlap, 1921
415 pages
1922 #1 Bestseller
Project Gutenberg #14145
My grade: A

Photo credit: “Graves 1” by yohanl

© 2012 Linda Gorton Aragoni

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Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

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