A Spell of Winter

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First edition (publ. Viking Press)

A Spell of Winter is a 1995 gothic novel by Helen Dunmore, set in England, around the time of World War I. The novel was the first recipient of the Orange Prize for Fiction, in 1996.[citation needed]


Abandoned by their parents and brought up by the servants on their grandfather's estate, Catherine and Rob have no one but each other. However, as their love for each other oversteps boundaries, the siblings' relationship becomes chaotic as the state of the outside world heading for World War I. As the world around Catherine changes dramatically, will she find the will to break the spell of winter and leave her isolated world?