I have had a bit of a hit and miss experience with Kate Mosse's books in the past. I quite enjoyed the first book of hers I read, Labyrinth, but the second, Sepulchre was not a great reading experience for me at all.
I still thought I would give her latest book, The Winter Ghosts, a go. Partly, I will be honest, for it's gorgeous cover design (if I had a dollar for every time I got sucked into reading a book through this way...) and also because it is quite a short book so I figured if it was not great the pain would be over quite quickly.
The Winter Ghosts is told from the perspective of Freddie Watson, a man in his early 20's who was, and is, grief stricken after the death of his older brother, George, in World War 1. The book starts in 1928 when Freddie is travelling around France after the death of his parents - Freddie is still unclear as to whether he wants to remain in the world of the living himself and it is a heartbroken, destroyed man with no hope who we first meet. During his journey Freddie has a car accident during a brutal winter storm close to a village where he seeks assistance. It is here that the real "action" of the book begins when Freddie attends a village fair one evening and meets a young woman by the name of Fabrissa who shares with Freddie her own story of personal loss.
The book reads very much like a type of fairytale or moral fable - the language and story line is quite simple and even the emotions and intentions of the characters are clearly described as opposed to simply being indicated in some subtle way for the reader to ascertain for themselves.
I noticed at the end of the book that Mosse actually wrote an earlier shorter version of this book as part of the 2009 Quick Reads initiative aimed at adult emergent readers. This helped me to understand why the book had been written in the way that it was.
This book certainly didn't blow me away but it was a nice, quick read.