Book-In-Focus: The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner

The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner_The BookWalker

Captivating and boldly imaginative, with a tale of sisterhood at its heart, Rena Rossner's debut fantasy invites you to enter a world filled with magic, folklore, and the dangers of the woods.

"With luscious and hypnotic prose, Rena Rossner tells a gripping, powerful story of family, sisterhood, and two young women trying to find their way in the world." —Madeline Miller, author of The Song of Achilles and Circe

This is the story

In a remote village surrounded by vast forests on the border of Moldova and Ukraine, sisters Liba and Laya have been raised on the honeyed scent of their Mami's babka and the low rumble of their Tati's prayers. But when a troupe of mysterious men arrives, Laya falls under their spell - despite their mother's warning to be wary of strangers. And this is not the only danger lurking in the woods.

As dark forces close in on their village, Liba and Laya discover a family secret passed down through generations. Faced with a magical heritage they never knew existed, the sisters realize the old fairy tales are true...and could save them all.

Reviews and What Readers Say

" Rossner's debut weaves a richly detailed story of Jewish identity and sisterhood... emotionally charged, full of sharp historical detail and well-deployed Yiddish phrases...Ambitious and surprising."


“ A beautiful tale of sisterly love and Jewish identity [with] haunting, otherworldly allure."


"An incredible achievement — a rich literary fairytale, with all the cadences of the folk stories of old. The kind of book that Neil Gaiman and Naomi Novik might have together cooked up, it's far too easy to get lost in the forests between the pages of this book and disappear for days on end." ―Robert Dinsdale, author of The Toymakers

" The Sisters of the Winter Wood mixes fairy tale, poetry, history, and heart to create an enchanting and mesmerizing tale of sisterly love.”

Sarah Beth Durst, award-winning author of The Queens of Renthia series

“ Buckle up for a fable that delightfully straddles the line between fantasy and history! A compelling tale about two sisters, Liba and Laya, living in a world of untamed wilderness, dangerous pogroms, and a surreal magic they do not yet understand. I particularly enjoyed Liba’s character and her style, especially when she learns to embrace who she truly is as the narrative progresses through the trials and mysteries that surround her. Although there are numerous magical elements in this story, a lot of real, and oft times dark history provides the backdrop to this plot about two sisters gradually coming of age. If you enjoy fantastic elements sprinkled in with realistic drama, then The Sisters of the Winter Wood is for you!”

―Mark Noce Amazon Client, Verified Purchase

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Rena Rossner lives in Israel, where she works as a literary agent. All eight of her great grandparents immigrated to America to escape the pogroms, from towns like Dubossary and Kupel. It is their story, together with her love of Jewish mythology and fantasy, which inspired her to write The Sisters of the Winter Wood.