Midwinter Break (Paperback)

A Novel

By Bernard MacLaverty

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393356236, 208pp.

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (8/22/2017)
Hardcover (8/22/2017)
Pre-Recorded Audio Player (11/22/2017)

List Price: 15.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Shortlisted for the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award

"[A] wrenchingly intimate depiction of a couple in the chilly, hibernal years of their marriage…[A book] with rare and unexpected beauty." —Wall Street Journal

With Midwinter Break, a moving portrait of retired couple Gerry and Stella Gilmore’s marriage in crisis, Bernard MacLaverty reminds us why he is regarded as one of the greatest living Irish writers. Through accurate, compassionate observation and effortlessly elegant writing, MacLaverty reveals the long-unspoken insecurities that exist between Gerry and Stella over their four-day holiday in Amsterdam, crafting a profound examination of human love.

About the Author

Bernard MacLaverty lives in Glasgow, Scotland. His books include Lamb, Cal, and Grace Notes, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award.

Praise For Midwinter Break: A Novel

Sure-handed and captivating.

Utterly gripping.… This is a quietly brilliant novel, which makes for essential reading.

[A] tender, affecting novel.… MacLaverty’s gorgeous prose is tactile and understated… and the poignancy of his story fills the reader with yearning.

An artist with a subtle feel for the ordinary, MacLaverty’s wry, outstanding novel about the tests that time, age and life impose on love resonates with humanity and emotional intelligence.

[Midwinter Break] is, pretty much, a perfect piece of work. It is paced flawlessly, is lapidary of structure, and is delivered with a purpose and clarity and control that can shut out the noise of the world, of your own heartbeat, even: one of those precious books that, when at last you look up from its pages, you need a moment of re-adjustment, of decompression, so immersive is it.… It is breathtaking writing.

Midwinter Break is a touching, hopeful portrait of love’s complexity, written by a master craftsman, from the fullness of his heart.

MacLaverty doesn’t publish novels very often, but when he does they are outstanding.

An exceptionally good book, beautifully and intelligently written, well worth waiting for.… [MacLaverty] writes with an unfailing and generous sympathy.… Everything rings true.

A quietly powerful elegy that chides two finely wrought characters for not being capable of defining what they value most in life.… Exquisite.

A closely observed, deeply sympathetic rendering of a relationship and the fissures that threaten to wreck it.