“Isabelle Broom has yet again entranced me with her characters, the setting in a beautiful country, and with her writing”


One Winter Morning is the sixth novel from Isabelle Broom and, like all of those that came before it, its setting takes the reader on a journey, this time to New Zealand. When the main character, Evangeline (Genie) loses her adoptive mother her life becomes dark and despairing that is until she finds out the identity of her biological mother which sends her on a journey to the other side of the world.

The novel begins with a heart-wrenching revelation and as the novel progresses, you’ll be gripped to its pages as the hidden secrets are finally uncovered and the characters reveal more and more of themselves. The pace of the novel then culminates in the dramatic climax before finishing with an ending which leaves the reader feeling heart-warmed and content.

As always, Isabelle Broom truly showcases how in-depth her travel research for the novel was with her descriptions of the location, her facts about the area and, in this novel, the Mouri sayings which she has woven within the narrative which bring a strangely nostalgic feeling to this story that reflects a very human experience of pain.

As another wanderlust style novel, Isabelle Broom’s stunning depictions of the New Zealand landscape, from its deep blue lakes to hilltop views, are so vivid you’ll almost feel the sun beating down on your own skin. The warmth of New Zealand, however, is juxtaposed with the cold in the title, that fateful morning of Anna’s death and the grief living within Genie’s own heart in this perfect metaphor for learning to live with loss.

One Winter Morning is an emotional tale of grief, mourning, and loss which will bring you to and over the brink of tears before bringing you back with an uplifting laugh or a touching moment of friendship or family in this beautifully tear-inducing tale of finding who you are when a piece of you is missing. As the Mouri saying goes; “Hurihia to aroaro ki te ra tukuna to atarangi kia taka ki muri i a koe – turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you.”


Reviewed by:

Catherine Muxworthy, Booksbirdblog

Added 6th February 2020

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Catherine Muxworthy