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Henry Holt & Company



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Meadows, Rae

Disappearing Earth meets Little Girls in Pretty Boxes in this captivating novel about a young girl who is tapped to be a part of the Soviet Union’s gymnastics system.

Perfection has a cost…

In a remote Arctic town on the far edge of the Soviet Union in 1973, a young mother who has begun to question the state rhetoric goes to work and never returns. She leaves behind her heartbroken husband, Yuri, and her eight-year-old daughter, Anya. As she longs for her mother’s return, Anya’s world becomes even more isolated when she is tapped by the state to train for the highest honor – representing the Soviet Union as a gymnast in the Olympics. Her only confidant is her neighbor Vera, an older woman who survived ten years in a Gulag camp.

Winterland alternates between the point of view of Anya, as she grows to become a more serious Soviet contender in gymnastics, and Vera, who survived unspeakable horrors in the wild tundra of Norilsk in the 1930’s and who might hold the key to what happened to Anya’s mother.

Reminiscent of Maggie Shipstead’s Astonish Me and Julia Philips’s Disappearing Earth, Winterland tells the story of an era, shaped by glory and loss and about forging a life when you no longer are what you were and finding light where none exists.


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