The Winter Room is a portrait of idyllic rural life. Its focus is a Minnesota family of six: a husband and wife, their two sons, and two bachelor relatives. Although few dramatic events happen to this family, the book is one of Paulsen's most distinctive and original novels.
The novel has three parts that are interrelated by mood and theme rather than plot. The book opens with a short section entitled "Tuning," a lyric prose poem on the power of books as imaginative experience. The second section is composed of four chapters. Each one paints a portrait of one of the...
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