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A Good Winter

A Good Winter

Gigi Fenster

  • awardWinner, Michael Gifkins Prize, New Zealand, 2020
  • awardShortlisted, Fiction, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, New Zealand, 2022
  • I looked after Lara. We both looked after Sophie and her baby. We had to. It’s not like Sophie was going to look after that baby herself. All she was interested in was weeping and wailing for her dead husband. She was so busy weeping and wailing for her dead husband that she rejected his baby who was right in front of her.

    When Olga’s friend Lara becomes a grandmother, Olga helps out whenever she can. After all, it’s a big imposition on Lara, looking after her bereaved daughter and the baby. And the new mother is not exactly considerate.

    But smoldering beneath Olga’s sensible support and loving generosity is a deep jealous need to be the centre of Lara’s attention and affection—a need that soon becomes a consuming, dangerous and ultimately tragic obsession.

    Gigi Fenster’s A Good Winter is an enthralling psychological thriller, a dark and complex portrait of a troubled mind.


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    Gigi Fenster
    About the Author

    Gigi Fenster has two previously published works with Victoria University Press. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing and various law degrees, and teaches creative writing and law. She lives on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island.

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    Text publication date:
    14 September 2021
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    Praise for Gigi Fenster
    andA Good Winter

    ‘A powerful psychological thriller. Horrifying, relentless, masterful. Nothing will prepare you for the end.’

    A Good Winter is both a terrifying thriller and an intricate portrait of an obsessed and troubled mind. With great insight and empathy, Gigi Fenster demonstrates how the most monstrous obsessions begin with trauma and repression, and how broken hearts have the power to break lives apart. Complex, confronting, and utterly compelling. I couldn’t put it down.’

    ‘This tense and menacing thriller lives up to the hype…Fenster neatly and skilfully twists [the plot] away from easy predictability: precise language and short, sharp, prickling sentences ratchet the tension as high as it can go…The savagery—and brilliance—of A Good Winter is how the inevitable still feels like a shock.’

    ‘Fenster creates a chilling character in Olga. She will set up camp and loiter in your mind for days to come…A Good Winter has made me want to upgrade my health fund to include therapy after this wild ride.’

    ‘Superbly executed…Brilliantly constructed.’

    ‘Well-paced and beautifully written.’

    ‘Confident, suspenseful and ultimately extremely satisfying.’

    A Good Winter is a character study, a deep dive into a particular, warped perspective and an exploration of some of the drivers of that perspective. It is not comfortable, but it is also hard to look away.’

    ‘Beautifully disturbing… I highly recommend this as a must-read from 2021, and I can’t wait to see what Gigi has to offer next.’

    ‘An exceptional psychological thriller that places you in the mind of a delusional, obsessive woman.’

    ‘A gripping portrait of obsession and jealousy.’

    A Good Winter arrived in the post. During the afternoon, I gave it a bit of a look-through. At 3:30am I was reading the final pages…A Good Winter draws us into a disturbed and damaged mind and carries us relentlessly through the seasons.’

    ‘This is a story of an unsettled mind, of tragedy and abandon, one which is riveting and thrilling, one which doesn’t shy from a building sense of alarm while also gently taking us along, allowing us glimpses into Olga’s past, her desires and sadness. The pace is pitch-perfect, the language, with its cleverly constructed conversations and staccato memory snippets, successfully reflects a troubled mind.’

    ‘A short, powerful portrait of a mind on the edge.’

    ‘That Fenster never slackens the pace or signposts exactly who will pay the price for her narrator’s deranged thinking is a credit to the author’s hold on the storyline and an indication of her unflagging allegiance to the manipulative, delusional and utterly awful nature of her main character…Fenster builds a knife-edge tension that is as compulsive as it is alarming.’

    Other editions ofA Good Winter
    • A Good Winter
      ISBN: 9781922459466
      14 September 2021
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