A Week in Winter
By Maeve Binchy
(Anchor, Paperback, 9780307475503, 416pp.)
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
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Stoneybridge is a small town on the west coast of Ireland where all the families know each other. 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), Stone House is finally ready to welcome its first guests to the big warm kitchen, log fires, and understated elegant bedrooms. Laugh and cry with this unlikely group as they share their secrets and—maybe—even see some of their dreams come true. Full of Maeve’s trademark warmth and humor, once again, she embraces us with her grand storytelling.
Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982. She went on to write many bestsellers, including Minding Frankie, Heart and Soul, Whitethorn Woods, Circle of Friends and Tara Road, which was an Oprah's Book Club selection. She also wrote for Gourmet; O, The Oprah Magazine; Modern Maturity; and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years and died in 2012, shortly after finishing this book.
- Why is Chicky attracted to Walter? Why does she defy her mother’s doubts and admonitions about going to New York [p. 6]? “Reality was, for Chicky, this whole fantasy world that she had invented of a bustling, successful Manhattan lifestyle” [p. 9]. Do Chicky’s deceptions blind her to Walter’s true character? Does she love him?What other feelings might explain her pleas to him to stay [p. 11]?
“Delightful. . . . Radiates the warmth and charm that fans will recognize and relish.” —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.” —The Daily Beast
“A gratifying, blustery read full of rich characters, a sea-spray setting and a compelling plot that carries the reader from start to end.” —Wichita Eagle
“Reading this novel is like ducking out of a cold rain into a fire-warmed pub filled with laughter.” —People
“If you read this book you will feel like you know every rock and view in Stoneybridge, and will likely wish you could visit this bleak-but-mesmerizing place, perhaps even in winter. . . . If you love Binchy's quiet stories, you will not be disappointed with this one.” —Huffington Post
“A restorative read.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Spell-binding. . . . Shows [Binchy] at the height of her powers.” —IrishCentral
“Maeve Binchy has once again created fully realized characters in quick, short strokes. . . . [The book contains] a philosophy of common sense and wisdom, both of which we’ve come to expect from Binchy.” —The Toronto Star
“All the characters spring to vivid life on the page, and all the stories are engaging.” —The Irish Times
“Heartwarming and spirit restoring. . . . 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
“Welcome territory for those looking for a feel-good read.” —Publishers Weekly
“Classic Binchy. . . . Peek[s] into the lives of characters from various walks of life brought together at a newly opened inn on the West Coast of Ireland.” —Kirkus Reviews