Stephan is well aware that there is something seriously missing in his marriage. Kyra has no interest in sex and her drive to be the perfect parent is causing a real strain. She’s not the vivacious woman she once was and he isn’t sure what to do to help her and even if there was he doesn’t see where her life is so difficult that she should need the extra help.
Kyra’s life is already spiraling out of control. Stephan’s attempt to help by watching Tess for a few hours is met with resentment, but it does give Kyra time to herself. During her few precious hours of alone time Kyra’s reading a magazine when an advertisement for a writer’s retreat in Vermont captures her attention and reawakens dreams she’d all but forgotten. She even goes so far as to call for more information. Unfortunately the cost of the retreat is way out of her league, but the receptionist mentions that they do have a scholarship program and Kyra can’t help but dream of winning and getting the opportunity to find out if she could have the writing career she’s always desired.
When Tess wanders off in a department store Kyra’s fears and nightmares crash in on her and force her to ask herself ‘if she lost Tess, who would she be if not her mother?’ The shock of the ordeal is the catalyst that has her making some major decisions that threaten to destroy the life she’s built with Stephan. Is it possible that attending the writer’s workshop could be exactly what she needs to pull her past and present together and put her nightmares to rest?
I was first attracted to this novel because of the beautiful cover and the blurb really fascinated me and I’m thrilled to say that the story lives up to every one of my expectations - and then some! As a mother I was easily able to identify with Kyra’s troubling loss of self and loved that Kerri Augusto captures those feelings of desperation and loneliness so perfectly. STRAWBERRIES IN WINTER incorporates Kyra’s childhood into this tale with startling clarity and stunning results. This story hits home on many levels but for women with children you may very well be able to see yourself in Kyra’s strive for perfection and devastation over any perceived failure. One of the many things I love about this story is the flashes of Kyra’s mother’s memory and how they work into the surprise ending.