Title: Winter Damage
Author: Natasha Carthew
ISBN: 9781408835838 (hardback)
The book follows Ennor a young girl living in a deteriorating society were money is worthless, shops are closing down and everyone has nothing. These things are nothing new to Ennor however, with her father dying of cancer and drug abuse after the loss of their farm although she is now only 14 she was forced to leave school years ago in order to take care of the few remaining animals, attempt to provide the family with food and pay the rent while taking care of her sickly father and her younger autistic brother Trip. Her mother left them years ago to follow a religious path, and as bills pile up and food runs out Ennor feels she might be their only chance of surviving the winter. Her worries increase as she receives a letter about Trip being taken to an ‘institution’ and she decides to set off in search of her mother leaving her best friend Butch to take care of her father and brother. However Butch, abused and beaten by his father and consequently ill himself finds it difficult to take care of Trip and further problems occur when Ennor is lost on the more and ends up at the house of a strange woman who attempts to take her belongings. However the woman appears to know where her mother is and gives Ennor directions. But can she be trusted, and even if found, will Ennor’s mother even acknowledge the daughter she lost so many years ago? With the bitter cold of winter settling and the desperation of a society with no possessions or food growing, the moor is not a safe place for a young girl alone. However she meets Sonny a young strong gypsy girl who can fight, hunt and shoot and soon her good humour and outgoing personality grows on Ennor.
Ennor is a girl who almost feels she has lost everything at many points in the book, yet on this path she also finds friendship and rediscovers the childhood she missed out on. She learns the meaning of hope and love and discovers that what she had been searching for had been with her along her journey. Society and mankind is falling to pieces, as desperation leads to theft, ignorance and neglect, but from the dust rises up a new generation of hope for something better; for children never forget the joy of laughter. An inspiring story that captures the freezing cold of winter in order to symbolise the coldness of humans in a times of crisis- when each person is only concerned for their own survival. However the warmth of love and friendship thaws broken dreams and hearts and leads these children to something better than the life they left behind.