A Week in Winter
By Maeve Binchy
(Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780307273574, 325pp.)
Publication Date: February 12, 2013
List Price: $26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.
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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.
Sharing a week with this unlikely cast of characters is pure joy, full of Maeve’s trademark warmth and humor. Once again, she embraces us with her grand storytelling.
“Fittingly, this posthumously published work by Ireland’s beloved lady of letters is itself a love letter to her homeland. . . Binchy offers a final chance to enjoy her winning characters and the charm of Irish culture. . . Reading this novel is like ducking out of a cold rain into a fire-warmed pub filled with laughter.” —People
“Lovely. . . Tailor-made for an afternoon jaunt through the backcountry of western Ireland. . . Binchy’s last novel radiates the warmth and charm that fans of the late Irish author will recognize and relish. . . . [her] prose is conversational, comfortable and populated with a cast of colorful characters that run the gamut from droll to dry. . . a delightful diversion.” —Mary Cadden, USA Today
“A hopeful, loving novel chronicling lives shaped by good deeds, small favors, and honest counsel along the rocky crags of the Irish coast. Fans of Binchy and newcomers to her work alike should consider themselves fortunate to have been left such a clear-eyed and open-hearted final gift.” —The Daily Beast
“A Week in Winter goes perfectly with a cup of tea. . . . a gratifying, blustery read full of rich characters, a sea-spray setting and a compelling plot that carries the reader from start to end. . . . Binchy has created a book that envelops its reader in the same calming serenity that Stone House provides its inhabitants.” —Shelly Walston, The Wichita Eagle
“A treat as rich as a box of chocolates.” —aarp.org
“The late great Binchy’s last novel is an appropriately heartwarming and spirit restoring swan song. In classic Binchy-style, the gentle story is populated with a large cast of often eccentric, always endearing characters. . . Stone House, a country inn on the West Coast of Ireland serves as the cozy setting for these interrelated tales of love, loss, friendship, and community. . . . Pour yourself a cup of tea, put your feet up, and prepare to savor this bit of comfort food for the soul.” —Booklist
“Classic Binchy. . . her fans will find solace as hearts mend and relationships sort themselves out one last time.” —Kirkus