Then Comes Winter
This anthology compiles eleven short stories tied together not with a common thread, but with a bright red holiday bow and tinsel. Focusing on the love that comes with the holiday season, new romances bud and old romances are rekindled. While some of these stories are set in the modern day, others are inspired by Jane Austen and give a new life to some of her most beloved characters.
Although there were one or two stories that had me eager to move on to the next, overall, I really enjoyed Then Comes Winter. My favorites—in order of appearance—were “Holiday Mix Tape” by Beau North and Brooke West, “A Man Whom I Can Really Love” by Natalie Richards, and “Winter’s Awakening” by Anngela Schroeder. “Holiday Mix Tape” is the first story in the anthology and therefore has a big impact on the mood of the entire collection. With a modern setting, politics, manipulation, and sisters abound, it does a great job of setting the romantic and Austenesque mood of the rest of the stories without being heavy-handed. “A Man Whom I Can Really Love” is also a modern romance, creatively told through the eyes of a woman in the aftermath of a serious car crash—figuratively speaking, as the protagonist is unable to so much as open her eyes. “Winter’s Awakening” presents Austen’s stoic Fitzwilliam Darcy with a new opportunity to woo Ms. Elizabeth Bennett. Holiday traditions, nosy houseguests, and Darcy’s freshly revealed confidence culminate in a clever twist that leaves the reader wishing for more.
All and all, Then Comes Winter was the perfect way to spend a rainy winter day.
Christina Boyd, editor
November 10th 2015