The Winter Sisters

The Winter Sisters

Folklore, medicine, witches, and superstition in the Georgia mountains. Dr. Waycross knows bleeding and blistering, the best scientific medicine of 1822. He arrives in the Georgia mountains to bring his modern methods to the superstitious masses. But the local healers, the Winter sisters, claim to treat yellow fever, consumption, and the hell-roarin' trots just as well as...

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Title:The Winter Sisters
Author:Tim Westover
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The Winter Sisters Reviews

  • Amie's Book Reviews

    1811 in the mountains of northern Georgia, three sisters stand upon a bare mountain plateau. These women are the Winter sisters. They are using wax to try to determine their futures.

    Ten years later, the Winter sisters are no longer living in the village. The new Preacher has succeeded in turning some of the townspeople against them, successfully running them out of town.

    The Winter sisters are sometimes called healers and sometimes called witches, it depends on the person who is speaking, and a

    1811 in the mountains of northern Georgia, three sisters stand upon a bare mountain plateau. These women are the Winter sisters. They are using wax to try to determine their futures.

    Ten years later, the Winter sisters are no longer living in the village. The new Preacher has succeeded in turning some of the townspeople against them, successfully running them out of town.

    The Winter sisters are sometimes called healers and sometimes called witches, it depends on the person who is speaking, and also who might be listening.

    The sisters might be young, but they know herbal remedies for most ailments and have ministered to the residents of their small frontier town for years.

    When the town recruits a doctor from the city, he arrives ready to educate these backwater hicks as to how science and the latest techniques of medicine will cure all their ills.

    However, when he arrives and keeps hearing about the Winter sisters and their supposed cures, he sets out to discredit them.

    What happens next surprises the doctor, the Winter sisters and everyone reading this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that you are unable to predict what will happen at any given moment in this story. It kept me guessing, which is rare.

    THE WINTER SISTERS is a fabulous book with terrific characters and a story that will stay with you long after the final page.

    The descriptions both of people's lives and of the sceney and setting are so vivid that readers can picture tem so clearly it is almost as if you create a movie in your head as to how everything looks.

    I rate this book as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    ***Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***

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  • Bonnye Reed

    I received a free electronic copy on August 26, 2019, of this ARC from Netgalley, Tim Westover, and QW Publishers. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this historical novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my personal, honest opinion of this work. The Winter Sisters is an especially compelling tale. There is a little history, a little SiFi, a little medical lore, a lot of herbal, native American, and even Creole approaches to healing, one persistent medicine

    I received a free electronic copy on August 26, 2019, of this ARC from Netgalley, Tim Westover, and QW Publishers. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this historical novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my personal, honest opinion of this work. The Winter Sisters is an especially compelling tale. There is a little history, a little SiFi, a little medical lore, a lot of herbal, native American, and even Creole approaches to healing, one persistent medicine man, a bit of drug abuse, a little romance, and a really good mystery between the pages of this very BIG novel.

    Three orphaned sisters nearing or touching adulthood - Rebecca, Sarah, and Effie Winters -find themselves ostracized in their hometown in 1822. Their mother was a renowned herbalist and more, who taught her daughters all she knew. The daughters do the best they can, trying to help others with their skills, maintaining their gardens and herbal beds and replenishing their supplies of needed wild herbs from the woods as they reach maturity despite the rumors of a giant black leopard and the presence of rabies. Each of the girls seems to have a different, special calling. Together they are very good at what they do. Due to hydrophobia spreading from an unknown source into the local community dogs, everyone else is afraid to travel through the woods even to closely outlying farms, so the girls gathered up supplies and moved temporarily to the only empty cabin in Lawrenceville so the community didn't have to brave the woods to attain medical help. Unfortunately, their continued persistence, seen as fearlessness, in gathering the roots, seeds, mosses, etc from those dangerous woods is yet another mark against them in the eyes of the community.

    The local preacher burned them out and ran the sisters back to the Hope Hollow family farm following a fire in the community. Lead and fed by Pastor Boatwright, rumors of witchcraft and spirits and monsters convinced the citizens of Lawrenceville that the fire at the local mill may have been the doings of the Winter girls, and despite the community dependence on the sisters for medical help and Rebecca's engagement to the mill owners' son - and the only casualty of the mill fire - they want the girls gone. Of course, leopards are never going to be found in Georgia - but witches and shades could call it home and witches have familiars. Everybody knows somebody who has seen the rabid leopard. It must be real.

    Lawrenceville Mayor Richardson hires sight unseen a young new Hippocratic doctor certified by the Georgia Medical Society to come fill the gap left by the expelled sisters. In 1822 most prescribed medical cures were handled by bleeding, blistering, amputation, and/or enemas, and despite his youth and level of diagnostic inexperience, Dr. Aubrey Waycross felt adequate to handle the job, and because as a boy he lost his beloved older sister to rabies, he was compelled to take this job in an isolated community suffering from this always-fatal disease. Perhaps with his new skills, he can discover a cure. He surely does understand the symptoms of rabies.

    Having now no vacancies in the town of Lawrenceville, the office and housing provided by the community for young, pennyless Dr. Westover are in the barn of the local boarding house. He spends most days with just the company of the community pigs, as the locals are afraid of him and totally sold on the Winter girls' cures for all that ails them. They would rather do without than trust this purveyor of modern medicine. Aubrey eventually persuades the Winter sisters to move back to town and help him with his practice, combining his Hippocratic teachings with their herbal lore. The boarding house has a room they will grudgingly let them have, and he is willing to share his office with the girls though it is already overfull with his bits and pieces, books, and resident pigs. Maybe, between them all, they can find a way to survive rabies. Unfortunately, they have patients to try to cure. But with even that goal attained will the community learn to accept the Winter Sisters? Or Dr. Westover? And what is going to burn down next?

    pub date August 6, 2019

    received August 25, 2019

    QW Publishers

    Reviewed on October 13, 2019, at Goodreads, Netgalley, AmazonSmile, Barnes & Noble, and BookBub. Not available at Kobo or GooglePlay.

  • Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from QW Publishers - Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

    From the beginning I was intrigued with this book and the concept behind this book. Some of my many friends are herbalists and find natural healing from what is found on this earth but back in this setting some are seen as witches and performing magic. When a well-kn

    This book was received as an ARC from QW Publishers - Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Titles in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

    From the beginning I was intrigued with this book and the concept behind this book. Some of my many friends are herbalists and find natural healing from what is found on this earth but back in this setting some are seen as witches and performing magic. When a well-known doctor such as Dr. Waycross gets called into a mysterious town in Georgia and everyone is telling everyone they know, locals will be talking especially The Witch Sisters who believe that they can treat any disease better than any doctor. I also love stories where uncommon people now have to team up to save their town and/or complete their mission and that is exactly what the Witch Sisters and Dr. Waycross had to do in order to cure rabies and save their town from this dreadful disease. Fascinating from beginning to end and I could not put this down. This is definitely a book that will take you away and you will not want to stop reading.

    We will consider adding this title to our Historical Fiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  • Richard Myers

    Just like Tim Westover’s first book I began to write down town names, river names, and plant names. I live in LaGrange, Georgia and this story brings early Georgia history to the public in a wonderful way. The Sisters descriptions are fantastic and the characters are true to the time in Georgia. A wonderful book for everyone to read.

  • Rachel

    The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover is an interesting novel that is part fiction/part fantasy. It intertwines both genres to create a quick, engrossing read.

    I enjoyed the characters and felt they had multiple layers which led to a nice complexity.

    I enjoyed the location/setting 1800s Georgia and I also enjoyed the cast of characters.

    I enjoyed the ending, and also the aftwerward that the author wrote to add some historical significance from a medical aspect. As s

    The Winter Sisters by Tim Westover is an interesting novel that is part fiction/part fantasy. It intertwines both genres to create a quick, engrossing read.

    I enjoyed the characters and felt they had multiple layers which led to a nice complexity.

    I enjoyed the location/setting 1800s Georgia and I also enjoyed the cast of characters.

    I enjoyed the ending, and also the aftwerward that the author wrote to add some historical significance from a medical aspect. As someone in the medical field, that part, as well as how alternative treatments were dispersed between what “traditional medical treatments” were widely accepted at that time, added a layer of interest for me.

    A great read. 4/5 stars

    Thank you NetGalley and QW Publishers for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

  • Dele Haynes

    I always enjoy book about Georgia. This book takes place in Lawrenceville in 1822. A young doctor, Avery Waycross, is employed by the town because they need one to qualify to be the county seat. When Waycross arrives he finds the town is in turmoil over the "witches" who practice medicine. Waycross, who was ready to leave the backwards town found himself embroiled in the conflict. Thinking the "witches" were old crones who practiced magic. What he found was 3 young "wise" women. They sisters use

    I always enjoy book about Georgia. This book takes place in Lawrenceville in 1822. A young doctor, Avery Waycross, is employed by the town because they need one to qualify to be the county seat. When Waycross arrives he finds the town is in turmoil over the "witches" who practice medicine. Waycross, who was ready to leave the backwards town found himself embroiled in the conflict. Thinking the "witches" were old crones who practiced magic. What he found was 3 young "wise" women. They sisters used the local flora to heal their neighbors.

    Having no patients, because the towns people didn't trust him. and seeing the young women's proven results, decided to join forces. Each had their own useful skills, they opened shop together and taught each other their skills.

    This is a wonderful story about early medicine, the wise women who kept them healthy and the how different people's attitude about what they did. The local minister keeps the locals stirred up with sermons about witches and their conjuring of the devil.

  • Karen Kay

    Dr. Waycross knows the best scientific medicine of 1822. He arrives in the Georgia mountains to bring his modern methods to the superstitious masses.

    An okay read, some slow moving parts, although it was interesting to read some of the superstitions and local beliefs. I have to admit, Waycross was irritating and pompous and frustrating.

    3☆

  • Anna Louise

    Although the premise was what brought me to this book, I felt that it could have been executed better. I really liked the Winter sisters as characters, and found them fascinating. If the book was told only from their point of view, I feel like I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

    The Winter Sisters follows three sisters living on the outskirts of a frontier town in Georgia, America in 1822. They're successful healers, but all three have some varying degree of supernatural abilities when it comes

    Although the premise was what brought me to this book, I felt that it could have been executed better. I really liked the Winter sisters as characters, and found them fascinating. If the book was told only from their point of view, I feel like I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

    The Winter Sisters follows three sisters living on the outskirts of a frontier town in Georgia, America in 1822. They're successful healers, but all three have some varying degree of supernatural abilities when it comes to healing. Rebecca, the eldest, uses the science of the day to back up her techniques, Sarah, the middle sister, uses psychology to heal - using peoples superstition and folk beliefs in a way that her patients will believe and go with her prescriptions. Effie is the youngest sister, and her healing is pure magic, she just needs to stand in a room with you to heal you of anything (including death).

    Due to previous goings on, the sisters are exiled from the town to a cabin in the woods. Part of what I enjoyed with this book is the total hypocrisy of those in town. They were happy to go to the sisters for help when they were sick or injured, but when circumstances change against the sisters through no fault of their own, the townspeople change and begin what can only be described as a witch hunting riot.

    The only element I didn't like was following the town's new doctor. Dr Aubrey Waycross was a little too pompous in my opinion, and he just came across a little wrong to me. There was something about him that rubbed me the wrong way, and I didn't get on with his character. Sadly, following his point of view took up most of the book.

    The layout of the e-book was a little strange to me as there wasn't any page break or sign that the point of view was changing from the sisters in third person, to the doctor in first. This was a little jarring for a while before I got into the swing of things, about 30% of the way in.

    Although it saddened me that I didn't love this book, I did find it incredibly interesting, and would recommend it, if slow, character driven historical fiction is your cup of tea.

    Trigger warnings; body gore - injuries and antiquated healing techniques such as blood letting, addictive drug use, and death of an animal on page.

  • MaryannC. Book Freak

    3.5 Stars

    An enjoyable and humorous read about Dr. Waycross who is lured to a small town in the Georgia Mountains in 19th century under false pretences that a rabies outbreak is plaguing the town. When he arrives rumours run rampant that there is a panther on the loose and 3 local healers known as the Winter Sisters are witches who cast spells and wreck havoc amongst the town folk. When Dr. Waycross begins to understand that the sisters heal by means of herbs and natural methods he im

    3.5 Stars

    An enjoyable and humorous read about Dr. Waycross who is lured to a small town in the Georgia Mountains in 19th century under false pretences that a rabies outbreak is plaguing the town. When he arrives rumours run rampant that there is a panther on the loose and 3 local healers known as the Winter Sisters are witches who cast spells and wreck havoc amongst the town folk. When Dr. Waycross begins to understand that the sisters heal by means of herbs and natural methods he imparts the sisters to join forces against the narrow minded pastor and people of the town.

  • Stella

    Three sister, exiled to the woods of a small Georgia town, are the 'healers' of a community. With some supernatural elements - as well as science of the time/day, the sisters are well known in the community. As time and circumstance changes - as well as the attitude of the community, the sisters find themselves the target of a glorified witch hunt.

    The Winter Sister would be a great book....if it was only about the sisters. The addition of a new town doctor as another plot but honestly was it wa

    Three sister, exiled to the woods of a small Georgia town, are the 'healers' of a community. With some supernatural elements - as well as science of the time/day, the sisters are well known in the community. As time and circumstance changes - as well as the attitude of the community, the sisters find themselves the target of a glorified witch hunt.

    The Winter Sister would be a great book....if it was only about the sisters. The addition of a new town doctor as another plot but honestly was it was more annoying than helpful.

    Still, it was a nice way to start the fall season.

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book.

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