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Review: Come Winter by Clare Gutierrez

Disclaimer: This book was provided for me, free of charge, in exchange for a review from NetGalley

Come Winter tells the tale of Caterina, a cunning and extremely talented woman, as she navigates changing politics and homelands. Traveling throughout Europe Caty must make the most of her situation as a beautiful woman who must be strategic to protect herself and her people. It is important to remember that the concept of marriage has changed significantly between the setting of the novel and today. Today’s marriages of love are inconceivable and because of that, we must read this novel in the context of its invention. Gutierrez says herself that this story is about “a woman tossed about, who rises to become what fate intended”. Caty is a strong and enthralling woman who finds love, even with rocky beginnings, and fosters a genuine concern for her people’s wellbeing (especially in preparation for harsh winters).

The story hooked me with its setting in the Scottish Highlands (currently obsessed with Outlander) but it retained my interest with Caty’s continuous bravery in the face of obstacles. Who, despite her fierce protests, comes to find happiness and love in the strangest of places. The way Caty deals with her grief and noble attitude in the midst of chaos is admirable and like everyone who seems to meet Caty we are as enchanted. The perspectives of other characters allow the readers to get a glimpse of the humble way Caty enthralls all those who meet her, amusing them with her witty antics and who seek to protect her from heartbreak. This story is not one of warfare, but one that describes what happens on the home front during these battles which destroy kingdoms and establish kings. The reader’s guide at the end is a lovely way to sum up one’s thoughts about the novel and promises some lively discussions amongst friends. Its characters are complete, not without flaws, and all unique in their own ways. The constant plot of Caty’s family and the mystery surrounding it, including its twists and turns, was a pleasing and surprising reveal foreshadowed from the very beginning. This story is a firm reminder that it is those “women who most quietly through their lives, unnoticed, yet leave a legacy upon which mankind rests” that are often the most valiant, the unsung heroes (Note from the Author).

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