Release Date: August 1st, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Rating: 2.5 stars
Word Rating: Okay-ish
Reviewed by: Mel
On a frozen Cornish moor, a fifteen-year-old girl lives in a trailer with her dad and little brother. Ennor's mother left years ago, when things started to go wrong - and gradually their world has fallen apart. Now her father's gravely ill, school has closed, and Ennor knows they're going to take her brother away if things don't pick up soon. So three days before Christmas, when the wind is cold and her dad's health takes a turn for the worse, Ennor packs a blanket, a map, a saucepan and a gun into her rucksack, and sets off to find her mum and bring her home. Ennor thinks she knows where she's going. But this journey will change her life for ever - it becomes a battle for survival, a heartbreaking story of love and friendship, and a fable about not finding what you were looking for, but finding something more important instead...
There isn't anything particularly wrong with Winter Damage. However that doesn't go to say that this was downright fabulous. Told in a fairytale-like narrative, Natasha Carthew unravels the story about a 15 year old girl living in a trailer with her father and younger brother in the ice cold winter. In act of desperation, Ennor sets out to find her mother through the tough terrain and dragging wind.
One of the highlights of this novel was the characters. Each one of them have a bucket load of hope and strength, I guess that's what happens when the world is torn apart and all the horizon reaches out to is white. White snow. Ennor, the main character goes on a harsh journey is search for her lost mother, she's not only full of hope but she her consideration for her struggling family is a touching aspect. While her decision to find her mother seemed rather absurd from the beginning, the way Natasha Carthew fleshed out the story was truly magnificent. I have a few qualms about Sonny though, I thought her character was oddly created. Nonetheless, Sonny and Ennor's friendship is nothing less than commendable.
While the synopsis states that the main plot could be a journey to find a girl's mother, the core messages drawn from Winter Damage are about friendship, loss and love. There's hope, but there's also the heavy darkness that can ruin it. Winter Damage is about persevering, facing the truth and making unexpected actions. Natasha Carthew addresses some topics never tackled before and accomplishes this brilliantly.
The major let down with Winter Damage was the pace. Many areas, I felt like DNFing this as I was bored to death. The start was a hard struggle as well as the abrupt ending. But all in all, an enjoyable read with the dialogue a bit reminiscent of Patrick Ness and Moira Young.