A Week in Winter
By Marcia Willett
(St. Martin's Paperbacks, Mass Market Paperback, 9780312986674, 416pp.)
Publication Date: February 2003
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Every once in a while a very special story comes along that deserves an enormous cozy chair with a view of rolling hills, a fire snapping quietly in the hearth, a cup of real cocoa in a favorite mug, and a plate of homemade cookies. A Week in Winter is such a tale.
Moorgate is an enchanting old country house that belongs to Maudie Todhunter, a spirited widow who has been holding on to the place for the sake of her beloved granddaughter. But Maudie can no longer afford a second home, so she reluctantly puts it up for sale.
Moorgate immediately attracts more buyers than Maudie knows what to do with. The first is Selina, her stepdaughter, who has never seen eye-to-eye with Maudie on anything. The second potential buyer is Rob Abbot, a contractor who has lovingly restored every nook and cranny and who is embarrassed by his own passionate devotion to the house. The third is Melissa Clayton, a young woman with a sad, sad secret who discovers at Moorgate all she's ever wanted.
As the story weaves between the past and present, Maudie is startled to uncover patterns of deceit and betrayal that contradict all her most cherished beliefs. At times it seems that her most trustworthy companion is her granddaughter's giant English mastiff Polonius, who is boarding with Maudie after having been banished from his own home by an irate Selina.
As the final revelations stun both Maudie and the reader, A Week in Winter achieves a combined richness of character and circumstance that raises it above most modern contemporary fiction. Marcia Willett is a writer to discover and to celebrate.
Marcia Willett was born in Somerset, in the west country of England. She began writing with the encouragement of her husband. She has published several novels in England; A Week in Winter is the first to be published in the United States.
"Fans of Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy will definitely applaud the introduction of such an enjoyable writer." -- Booklist
"A charming story. . . highly recommended for public libraries everywhere." -- Library Journal
"A Week in Winter has all the elements of a perfect summer book. . . it's thoroughly engrossing, with richly drawn characters, a mysterious locale, and a beautifully crafted plot. . . the perfect addition to your summer beach tote." -- The Sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl
"Captivating. . . Set in a wild Cornish landscape that will evoke for readers Rosamund Pilcher's The Shell Seekers, Willett is a true discovery." -- Michelle Slung, Victoria Magazine
"Like Rosamund Pilcher and Maeve Binchy, Willett creates such fully dimensional characters that readers feel as if they should phone or e-mail them to keep in touch." -- Rocky Mountain News, Denver, CO
"It is a wonderful moving story of family and values set in the English countryside. It is very reminiscent of the novels of Pilcher and Binchy. I am so glad Ms. Willett is following in their footsteps!" -- Marilyn Sieb, Books & Company