Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Week in Winter

A Week in Winter
Maeve Binchy

A Week in Winter

Genre: Women's Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads):  Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know one another. When Chicky Starr decides to take an old, decaying mansion set high on the cliffs overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean and turn it into a restful place for a holiday by the sea, everyone thinks she is crazy. Helped by Rigger (a bad boy turned good who is handy around the house) and Orla, her niece (a whiz at business), Chicky is finally ready to welcome the first guests to Stone House’s big warm kitchen, log fires, and understated elegant bedrooms. John, the American movie star, thinks he has arrived incognito; Winnie and Lillian are forced into taking a holiday together; Nicola and Henry, husband and wife, have been shaken by seeing too much death practicing medicine; Anders hates his father’s business, but has a real talent for music; Miss Nell Howe, a retired schoolteacher, criticizes everything and leaves a day early, much to everyone’s relief; the Walls are disappointed to have won this second-prize holiday in a contest where first prize was Paris; and Freda, the librarian, is afraid of her own psychic visions.

Review: Maeve Binchy is one of my all-time favorite authors, and this is the last book that she wrote before she died last year.  I wanted to love this book, but....  I just didn't.  It's a nice, cozy story about a group of random strangers coming together for a week at a B&B on the Irish coast.  Generally, each character realizes something important about his life during his section of the story, and the reader can see that his life will improve from that point on.  (Cheesy, maybe, but that's one of the things I love about Binchy's novels).  In this book, however, I felt like each character's story was just a little too short; I wanted more information about their lives and where they were going next.  It's not the format - Binchy's Evening Class was also written in this short story type format, and I found that very satisfying - I guess it's just that the book is too short, or maybe needed a more informative ending.  I'm sad that I have to give this book only three stars, but I would recommend almost all of Binchy's other novels over this one.

Rating: 3 stars

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